thyme honey

Toplou, organic thyme honey from Sitia, Crete, Greece. Review

by | Honey tasting and review

After investigating the anti aging properties of honey I arrived at types of honey that have high concentrations of organic compounds that reduce oxidative stress associated with getting old, looking old and feeling old.

Little did I know it was going to be a real treat! A tasting group was selected including Toplou, which is an organic thyme honey from the Greek island of Crete, Fasilis a organic thyme and fir tree honey from mainland Southern Greece, and Tsar’s, Siberian organic buckwheat honey.  Unfortunately these types of honey are not available from the United Kingdom, but, definitely fit the definition of local honey because they come from small defined geographical locations from a single nectar source.  No blending and no mass production.

At a glance

Type of honey: Single nectar source runny honey.  Some filtering to leave a slightly cloudy honey.

Location: Sitia, Crete, Greece.

Verdict: Wow.  Knocks the ball out of the park.

Experience: 6 out of 5. It will get people chatting away round the breakfast table. Makes us reminisce about holidays to Greek Islands.

Thyme is a fragrant herb with small leaves and culinary varieties are normally perennial. Lots of tiny flowers appear in spring and last throughout summer which honey bees love.

Nothing short of a taste and aroma sensation. Enjoyment enhanced by the fact the flavours and aromas where completely new and unique. Light amber in colour leaving a cloudy honey full of pollen and nutrients.

Lets get started with the review of Toplou, an organic thyme honey from Sitia, a town on the Greek island of Crete. It’s no coincidence that Toplou is the name of one of the most significant monasteries on Crete, monks being no strangers to beekeeping. But it’s no exaggeration that bee farming predates this 15th century monastery and that honey was probably being farmed on the island before the Minoan civilisation began shaping the world.

Honey farming has a very long tradition on Crete and the ancient Minoan civilisations held honey in high regard. Take the Honeybees pendant found in the Necropolis of the Minoan palace of Malia as an example, exhibited in the Heraklion Museum Crete. Made of pure gold and comprises of two bees, wings stretched out, hugging a honey comb. A bee was also the symbol of the Minoan-Mycenaean goddess Potnia meaning mistress, but, also referred to as ‘The Pure Mother Bee’.

Pure was one of the first things that sprung to mind when I tasted Toplou organic thyme honey for the first time. A treat for the senses. Aromas of high energy lifted from the jar which are distinctively phenolyic which is a group of natural plant compounds that lift into the air and excite the the nasal senses.

Honestly like no honey that’s crossed our door step before (next day delivery for Amazon Prime customers). For readers that enjoy a bit of mythology this honey conjures up visions of the Athenian hero Theseus summoning the energy to defeat the Minotaur dwelling in the depths of King Minos’ labyrinth. Aromas of organic thyme honey may elicit memories of seeing frescoes of Thesseus and the Minotaur at the Knossos palace on Crete for anyone who has enjoyed some of the island’s history in person.

After the initial burst of high energy aromas the smell as mellowed to a pure floral and slightly herbal delicious honey smell which is uplifting. Toplou honey runs from the spoon like it’s fresh and appears slightly cloudy in the jar like it has had some filtering but just enough to leave pollen, enzymes and nutrients behind to give much sort after health benefits.

Flavours are pure and delicately floral indicating it’s a single source nectar honey. Which are almost identical to the other honey in this tasting group: the organic thyme and fir tree honey.

Why was Toplou selected to taste?

A single nectar source thyme honey is definitely a healthy honey. Not just due to it’s stimulatory effects and it’s ability to elicit feelings of calmness and serenity (it was seriously tasty), but, for the anti aging anti oxidant properties.

Organic credentials of this honey have been verified by certification by the EU Bio nach EG-Öko-Verordnung. The label shows the EU organic food logo.

EU organic logo

In summary, this honey is runny, golden, highly energetic and stimulatory. Oozing with pure flavours and making those who consume it in reasonable quantities feeling younger and actually aging more slowly. Amazing!  Too be enjoyed in almost any way but for those who love Greek islands it’s got to accompany Greek yogurt and walnuts or almonds.

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