In the mountains of the island of Sardinia in Italy, there is a honey that is not sweet. The history of this rare honey obtained from the strawberry tree in autumn is as unique as its taste and is two thousand years old. The taste of this honey called ‘Corbezello’ is no less than a puzzle for human tongue. For those who expect honey sweetness, it is definitely an amazing experience when they taste for the first time this honey which has a combination of different flavors of leather, smoke and licorice.
The nomads who collect honey here have been searching for this fragrant treasure for the last two thousand years. For this purpose, they plant beehives on the white bell-shaped flowers of the wild strawberry tree and obtain this bitter honey. How old is this honey? This is indicated by an incident when the bitterness of this honey was mentioned in an ancient case.
Marcus Tullius Cicero was a great Roman philosopher and lawyer. During a trial in which he was a lawyer for a Romanian resident of Sardinia accused of murder, he argued in his client’s defense that “what is produced on the island of Sardinia is bitter, even if it is a man.” Be it or something else, even the honey there is bitter.
- 1 Bitter honey which has numerous medical benefits
- 2 Malay Tales of the Corbesello Honey in Ancient Roman Literature
- 3 Corbizello Honey Collection Punishment for Roof Theft
- 4 Why is Corbisello honey so rare?
- 5 The secret of the specific bitterness of honey
- 6 An important part of Sardinia’s food culture
- 7 ‘Sprinkle the real flavor of this honey on the famous Sardinian sweet dish Sedas’
Bitter honey which has numerous medical benefits
Cicero was probably unaware of the secret of how much honey this honey contains, apart from its bitterness. Rich in vitamins and minerals, this honey has many known and some unknown medical benefits. This is probably the secret to the longevity of the Sardinians, most of whom live up to a hundred years.
In traditional medicine this honey was used to help sleep. In addition to cough and diarrhea, this honey is also tested against tumors due to its virtue which makes it effective against any kind of inflammation.
These are not just rumors. In 2019, researchers at the Polytechnic University of Vigo, Spain, and the University of Grenada, Marsh, published a study in the Journal of Functional Foods, which concluded that Corbizello honey was used during laboratory experiments to detect colon cancer cells in the stomach. Reduced the process of distribution and growth.
Malay Tales of the Corbesello Honey in Ancient Roman Literature
Put scientific experience and research aside. There are indications in ancient literature that this bitter honey has been used to solve medical problems since time immemorial. Its earliest literary mention comes from the Roman poet Publius Ovidis Nassau, known in classical English literature as Ovid. While studying the ancient Roman calendar in the Book of Days, he mentioned the Corbizello shrubs which are called strawberry trees in English.
Owed wrote that the goddess Dia Carna, considered to be the guardian goddess of Roman health and voluptuousness, used a strawberry tree branch on the doorstep of her house to save the life of a newborn heir in the ancient city of Elba Longa. The bar knocked. This goddess also had the status of guardian of the gates.
This bitter honey is obtained from the flowers of the wild strawberry tree. This wild bush got the botanical name of ‘Airbots Onedo’, which was also invented by the Roman philosopher and naturalist writer ‘Pliny the Elder’. The name was probably based on the bitterness of the honey because Pliny the Elder named it after the Latin phrase “onam edu” which means “I will eat only one.
Corbizello Honey Collection Punishment for Roof Theft
Corbizello honey production on the island of Sardinia flourished in the Middle Ages. Evidence of this can be found in the book by the famous Sardinian heroin and powerful judge of the time, Eleanor of Arborio, in which he mentioned the laws that apply to the island. The Carta de Logo, written in 1392, states that Corbesello could have been fined heavily for stealing honeycombs and, in some cases, beheaded.
Why is Corbisello honey so rare?
Surprisingly, wild strawberry trees grow as far as Western Europe and Ireland, but the record for honey production is near the island of Sardinia. Corbesello fruit grows slowly and changes color several times during this time, from yellow to orange and then red. But the bees only wait for the light sweet white flowers of this tree that grow from October to December. These bees turn the juice of these flowers into a rare honey.
These flowers are also rare in their own right. In addition to producing honey, one of their characteristics is that their petals open slowly. But their fragility is as beautiful as it is dangerous because it can be crushed if it rains heavily during this time.
Since this process takes place in late autumn when there is a possibility of strong winds and rain along with cold, in such cases even bees often do not have access to them. In bad weather, they are trapped in their hive and lose the pleasure of tasting their favorite juice. Another pro
In bad weather, they are trapped in their hive and lose the pleasure of tasting their favorite juice. Another problem is that these bell-shaped flowers produce only half as much juice as other types of flowers. This lack of quantity also weighs heavily on bees as they have to spend more time getting this juice. These are the elements that make Corbizello honey rare and therefore it is not found anywhere other than Sardinia.
The secret of the specific bitterness of honey
What is the secret of the specific bitterness of this honey, no one knows. Some believe that the taste is due to a molecule called glycoside arbutin found in the flowers of the strawberry tree. Analyzing the unique and difficult flavors of Corbesello is just as difficult and requires the same expertise as wine tasting superintendents. Italy also has a National Register of Honey Taste Supervisors called the National Register of Honey Experts (National Register of Experts in Sensory Analysis of Honey).
In addition to its bitterness, Corbesello contains sharp notes such as balsamic vinegar, pine tree sap, leather, licorice, and coffee, all of which end up with a long-lasting smokey aroma. That is why this honey is also mixed in coffee to arouse the bitter aroma. The dark yellow color of this honey turns light brown when dissolved.
An important part of Sardinia’s food culture
And like any good wine, this honey is used in many dishes in Sardinia. Fabio Peberi is a resident of Chicago, USA and imports wine from Sardinia. “If you want to get the real taste of this honey, then sprinkle it on the popular Sardinian sweet dish Cedas or Aurelitas or eat it with a sweet cheese called Pecorino Sardo,” he says.
‘Sprinkle the real flavor of this honey on the famous Sardinian sweet dish Sedas’
In her book Butter Honey: Stories and Recipes from Sardinia (Bitter Honey: Stories and Recipes of Sardinia), Letita Clark writes: There’s white wine here.