For city dwellers like me (never in my life I did not eat honey in honeycombs) the honey fair is at the same time an amusement park and a master class in bee products. I stocked up questions and went to chat with the beekeepers.
“Doesn’t happen, say, in the nature of pumpkin honey? Come on, let's bet, ”- the big man of fifty, his eyes gleaming menacingly, grabs my hand. He does not look like a peaceful beekeeper, but as a retired boxer. I myself am not happy that I told him a minute earlier: they’re warning: there’s no such honey, and they sell sunflower seeds under the guise of pumpkin to uninformed customers.
Together we bow our heads over the “Honey plants” directory, which Anatoly Ivanovich fished out from somewhere in the depth of his tent. It turns out: the bees really collect the nectar of golden pumpkin flowers and make honey from it, which is especially useful for the stomach and pancreas.
I try a delicate yellow, delicacy similar to a whipped butter - I don’t feel the taste of pumpkin at all, but I like cool sourness. Anatoly Ivanovich meanwhile proudly shows photos of his nomadic apiary and tells how over the summer he drove around the Rostov region on a wagon with beehives, moving behind blooming fields. In addition to pumpkins, these places are famous for white clover, whose honey immediately resembles lime and acacia.
But the varieties that are really not in nature: lemongrass, wild rose, sea buckthorn, viburnum, ginseng, Rhodiola rosea. These plants do not give nectar. Rowan, lavender, apple - a rare rarity. It is very difficult to find places where apple trees, lavender or mountain ash bloom all around, and bees, collecting nectar from them, can create the so-called monoflerny (from one plant) honey.
An important point that will help not to be mistaken in honey shopping is to remember the geography of your favorite brand. The beekeepers I interviewed at the fair agreed on such a list: the best buckwheat honey — Kursk and Oryol, acacia — Altai, lime –Bashkiria and the center of Russia, chestnut — Adygea, Tuapse and Lazarevsky district, from milkweed — Ossetia.
How to recognize a fake
There is a risk of getting rid of honey buying even at the fair: there are still several hundred participants, from Karelia to the Khabarovsk Territory. Three main dangers: honey may be immature (contain too much water), stale (last year’s or even before last year’s) and fabricated.
Fabricated honey is obtained by mixing with a small amount of this starch, glycerin, molasses, semolina and aromatic essences. This mixture is heated to 80 degrees, which makes it ideally similar to honey, but without all its beneficial properties.
Another problem is sugar syrup. If the bees are fed only to them, only one beautiful appearance remains from the honey, but the product itself does not contain any vitamins and microelements.
Only an examination can recognize such a fake. If you have doubts, you can take them off right at the fair, asking to show a printout of the analysis (all exhibitors receive it before the start) or donate honey for an express analysis right there.
Here are the basic parameters - remembering them, you can more confidently judge the quality of the product.
1. Water - no more than 21%, ideally - 15-17%.
2. Diastatic number - not less than 8 units Gote, ideally 40-50. This number indicates the number of active enzymes in honey. The more of them, the better absorbed honey. In honey, bees fed mainly sugar syrup, the diastatic number tends to zero.
3. Sucrose - not more than 6%, glucose and fructose (reducing sugars) - not less than 82%.
4. Total acidity - no more than 4%.
The easiest way to recognize good honey: it is wound on a spoon with thick viscous tape and flows down, forming a hill on the surface for a few seconds. When you swallow, you experience astringency and slight burning sensation.
How to store honey
The only, in my opinion, minus the fair in Tsaritsyn is the low-practical and non-ecological packaging, plastic boxes and cellophane. At home, honey is best kept in dark glass jars under a lid — on a table, in a cupboard, or in a kitchen cupboard. In no case in the refrigerator - he does not like moisture and quickly absorbs the smells. And store no more than a year.
Honey comb, bee bread and pollen
At the fair, for the first time in my life, I tried honey in honeycombs - this delicacy is like gum and acts the same way: cleans teeth and disinfects mouth. “Honey does not crystallize due to wax in honeycombs (it does not thicken), that is, it is preserved and retains its beneficial properties longer,” Andrei Vartabedyan, a hereditary beekeeper with forty years of experience, told me.
By the way, acacia and chestnut honey does not crystallize much longer than other varieties, as it does not contain sucrose. For the same reason, they are indicated for diabetes, overweight and other problems with metabolism.
My most vivid impression is bee bread, or perga (100 g / 300 rub.). Neat dark red polyhedrons repeat the shape of a honeycomb and really taste like rye bread. Bees collect pollen (100 g / 100 rubles) from willow, willow, rakit and roll it into dense balls. Spring - sweet, in the late summer bitter taste.
Vladimir Dagadaev, the chief physician of the Apitherapy Center, says that both pollen and perga are the most powerful immunostimulants. “They contain almost all the essential amino acids, plant hormones and minerals, increase hemoglobin and the number of red blood cells in the blood. They help to recover faster with anemia, anemia, infections, gastric and duodenal ulcers, diseases of the nervous system. "
Perga is consumed only in the morning and in the afternoon (if you are awake for the night and you will not fall asleep), five to six granules of perga or 1 tsp. pollen. You can grind in a coffee grinder and mix with honey.
What: All-Russian Honey Fair
When: until October 3, from 9 to 20 hours
Five little-known honey varieties
|The taste and color||What is useful||Where is the best|
|Heathy||Dark red and deep yellow, with heather aroma and slight bitterness||Normalizes appetite||West and North of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine|
|White clover||Snow-cream color with vanilla aroma and sweet taste||Helps with colds, headaches, hypertension, increased thyroid function, insomnia||Center of Russia|
|Mustard||Creamy golden, with a floral scent, tart-sweet||Helps with respiratory diseases||Center of Russia|
|Esparcetov||Light amber with rose smell and light sweet taste||Tonic and sedative||Center of Russia|
|Hawthorn||Rich dark color with hawthorn smell, bitter taste||Strengthens the nervous system, blood vessels and heart||Far East|