Walk into any Cretan home and you will find a large pot of the best honey, never purchased at the supermarket, but locally produced, offered as a gift from a beekeeping acquaintance or family friend.
Honey is still an important part of the Cretan Diet due to its health qualities but also as a symbol of health, purity and well-being. Honey is a central part of Cretan weddings – a gift of honey with walnuts is given to each of the guests as a symbol of fertility and well-being of the couple. Cretan honey is used in baking instead of sugar by modern-day housewives and mouth-watering syrup sweets such as loukoumades, baklava, honey pies and other pastries.
The Cretan flowers which produce honey get their specific charakter through the unique climate of the island of Crete. Since Crete is some of the sunniest places in Europe, the seemingly endless summer and therefore limited rainy days make the Cretan flowers almost waterless, rich in flavour and the resulting nectar is superb.
The best honey in Crete is thyme honey
Wild Cretan thyme „thymari” (θυμάρι) offers a honey with a strong taste and a golden color. It is a premium honey with antibacterial properties, especially effective for healing respiratory and digestive problems.
Health benefits of Cretan thyme honey:
Thyme honey is perfect for relieving the worst effects of the sore throat associated with colds and flu.
Thyme honey has excellent anti-bacterial and antifungal properties, and it is still used, in Greece, as a poultice for wounds, to prevent infection. Honey is commonly used covering for burns and scalds.
Thyme honey is the most effective honey for inhibiting the growth of bacteria (honey has been shown to be effective against salmonella, E. coli and Vibrio cholera).