The real rosemary honey referred to in this article is not honey infused with rosemary.
The rosemary infused or flavored honey is used as an appreciated ingredient in our cuisine, made from multifloral honey infused with rosemary.
The final product is different than the real honey, which is made by bees from the flower’s nectar.
Name: Rosmarinus officinalis;
Family: Labiatae (Lamiaceae);
Other names: rosemary plant, garden rosemary, sea dew;
Etymology: The name has nothing to do with roses or Virgin Mary. It derives from the Latin “dew” (ros) and “sea” (marinus), or “dew of the sea”. The plant is also sometimes called anthos, from the ancient Greek word ἄνθος, meaning “flower”.
Plant description: woody, perennial, evergreen, aromatic, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. The plant flowers in spring and summer in temperate climates, but it can be in constant bloom in warm climates. It grows up to 2 meters height.
Native to Mediterranean regions but it is also found in Asia and Africa.
Chemical composition: The leaves of the plant contain up to 2% of essential oil, which consists of cineole, camphor, borneol, limonene, pinene, camphene. In addition, rosemary contains tannins, resins, bitterness, flavonoids, plant and slightly acid saponin. Alkaloid rozmaritsin, ursolic and rosmarinic acid are also found in the leaves.
The legend of rosemary explains somehow the relation between this flower and its name “the dew of the sea”. The legend is found in the Manuscript of Pliny, and explains the unusual blue color of the rosemary: the Mediterranean Sea with its foamy waves would wash the bushes of the flower and color them in blue. From here the name rosemary coming from the Latin of “dew of the sea”.
The Rosemary was considered sacred by the Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans, and was used in the Middle Ages to ward off evil spirits and protect against the plague.
In the Middle Ages, there were entire fields and meadows of rosemary stretching in France. It is said that sheep grazed there and their meat has gained a special flavor and taste. Rosemary was associated with wedding ceremonies. The bride would wear a rosemary headpiece and the groom and wedding guests would all wear a sprig of rosemary.
It was perhaps the time when the monks began to collect the most valuable rosemary honey. It was produced and it is still produced mainly in the south of France and the island of Minorca.
In myths, rosemary had a reputation for improving memory (which was lately researched and proved to be right) and had been used as a symbol for remembrance during war commemorations and funerals in Europe and Australia. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia says: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.”
Today rosemary powder is recommended for dizziness and low blood pressure, stress and nervous tension, general exhaustion and sexual weakness. Concoction of leaves stimulates the stomach and intestines, and infusions are effective in thrombophlebitis, myocardial infarction and other cardiovascular diseases.
In our cuisine, rosemary is a favorite condiment for the people living in the Mediterranean. While the plant grows uncultivated in the Crimea and the Caucasus, there are clean, dry grass, and various seasonings of rosemary produced in France, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Italy and even North Africa and the United States.
How is rosemary honey?
Rosemary honey is typical from the Mediterranean regions, mainly France and Spain. With a unique taste it distinguishes itself from other honeys. But the production is rarely the same, as it depends a lot on whether conditions from the end of the winter and beginning of the spring.
Color: light white to extra light (maximum 35 mm Pfund)
Taste: delicious, very fine when it the honey is very pure
Persistence/aftertaste: short Flavor: floral, fruity
Intensity of odor: weak to medium
Content of water: very low, 16.4% →17%
pH: 3.8 → 4, (low level)
Electrical Conductivity: 0.15 (low)
Content of mineral: low
Crystallization: quickly into very fine crystals
Glucose: 33.1 – 39 g/100 g
Fructose: 38.4 – 43 g/100 g
Disaccharide: 13% – mainly maltose
Enzyme content: low (European Directive allows a minimum diastase number of 3)
Diastase: 9.7 DN (low)
Invertase: 56.4 U/kg
Proline: 271 mg/ kg (low)
The pollen of Rosmarinus is under-represented. No more than 10%.
Health benefits of rosemary honey
It has tonic properties, is used in loss of strength, with neuritis and colds. Good anti-inflammatory. The Romans loved the rosemary honey and consider it the best type of honey in the world.
Romans considered rosemary honey a symbol of love!
· It treats hepatic insufficiency and other liver conditions;
· it helps in stomach diseases, especially for those with a slow digestion
· It helps in intestinal conditions
· It is a powerful tonic, recommended to children and old people. Also good for workaholic persons.