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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Eucalyptus Honey, Olivera Do Hospital, Portugal

The eucalyptus honey that I have is from Olivera do Hospital in Portugal.
Oliveira do Hospital is a municipality in the central part of continental Portugal in the district of Coimbra, which is known for, among other things, as having one of the oldest universities in Europe, the University of Coimbra (founded in 1308). The area has been inhabited since at least 465 BCE, first by the Romans, and later by the Visigoths, Moors, and Christians. Coimbra also has the distinction of being named the capitol of the new Kingdom (aka Portugal) in the mid-12th century by the first Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques.

Olivera do Hospital, which is located on the northern edge of the district of Coimbra, is home to about 5,000 inhabitants. It is an agricultural area known primarily for its wine and cheeses, located in the foothills of the Serra da Estrela Mountains, which are bisected by the Alva and Alvoco River valleys. They also make honey.

The producers of my eucalyptus honey, Quinta de Jugais ( produce other types of honey (mountain, rosemary, orange, heather), as well as jams, olive oil, and tea. Their website states that they pride themselves in using traditional methods that produce high-quality products.

According to Wiki, 'Eucalyptus' comprises a diverse genus of flowering trees in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. There are more than 700 species of Eucalyptus, but most are native only to Australia, with only 15 species found in other areas. Eucalyptus trees are cultivated throughout the tropics and subtropics. Some Eucalyptus species are of interest to environmentalists because they are fast-growing sources of wood, produce oil that has natural insecticide qualities, and, can be used to drain swamps (given their 'water sucking' ability), thereby reduce the risk of malaria.

Eucalyptus honey is a hearty orange-red color with a slightly spicy aroma. It is a relatively thick honey with a surprisingly simple taste, of honey sweetness with a subtle under and after taste of something herby, not unlike green tea. The taste is clean and stable throughout. Because the taste is not overpowering or complex, I think it would be a good choice for baking or in tea.

I got my Qinta de Jugais eucalyptus honey at TJMAXX (of all places) but I see that on their website you are able to contact the producers so might find sellers in your area by contacting them.

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