Ikaria Honey - Heather (Anama) (16oz)
Please Note: This year's Anama has a different texture than what you may be used to. It is less solid and has some soft crystallization, but the aroma and flavor are classic Anama. All beekeepers on the island have reported the same result and the consensus is that it's a function of warmer than usual winter temperatures during December, which caused a delayed harvest. We aren't complaining, we graciously take what the bees give us and this year they have given us something thats looks a bit different but is every bit as delicious and perhaps a touch less bitter than normal. Enjoy!
Anama ("heather") honey (also known in Greece as "reiki") comes from bees that forage on the native heather that grows at high elevations on Ikaria.
Our Anama honey is pure, raw and never heated. It is very thick (in most years almost solid), rich, strongly flavored and mildly sweet and high in trace minerals. It has the aroma of a beehive and an earthy flavor profile with notes of beeswax, sassafras, burnt sugar, toffee, bourbon and toasty oak with a slight medicinal/bitter finish. It is a very unique honey and only for those who like big, bold flavors. If you prefer milder flavors, the thyme, fir and pine honey's would be a better choice.
Anama is not good for cooking. Its flavors are too pronounced and it would dominate the dish. And as is the case with all of our raw honeys, the heat would destroy its healthy biological properties. Rather, like the other Ikarian honeys, it is best consumed plain (delicious!) or with foods like yogurt, bread or cheese where the unique flavors of the honey are highlighted. It is particularly good with cheese!
Anama is very special and is only available in meaningful quantities in years when there is a confluence of favorable weather conditions: adequate rainfall patterns for the Fall heather to bloom, but not too much rain following the bloom, mild late-Fall/early-winter temperatures allowing the bees to be active, and then colder temperatures during and after the harvest.