Honey, the jewel of the beehive!
Honey is a soft, sweet substance produced by bees with the help of nectar which they collect from flowers. Its entirely natural origin leads us to believe that it has always existed; the oldest written reference to honey comes from the Ancient Egyptians, in the Nile delta. Honey is mentioned in a papyrus dating back more than 4,500 years old. At that time it was used not only as a foodstuff or condiment but also to beautify the skin and heal wounds. Athletes of the day could not get enough of this rich and tasty substance. Containing 80% carbohydrates, it is an energy rich product high in sugars. Honey is primarily composed of two simple sugars, fructose and glucose, which are directly assimilated by the body. However, it has fewer calories than ordinary sugar (or sucrose) and is better assimilated by the body. There are dozens of types of honey: the best known are acacia and wildflower honey but increasing numbers of new varieties are now appearing. These include: lime, thyme, lavender, rosemary, cranberry, eucalyptus, mint, and manuka… You will also come across darker honeys, such as those derived from sunflower and buckwheat. Honey is therefore a good alternative to sugar or jam for a change of flavour and a delicious treat!