Honey (“meli”) is mainly known as a delicious and nutritious thick spread produced by honey bees that has a lot of fans worldwide. It is known to be rich in antioxidants, thereby supporting cardiovascular health and lowering the risk of infections and even cancer. In addition, honey is much better than sugar for diabetics. It has also been reported to reduce the “bad” LDL cholesterol while increasing the “good” HDL cholesterol. Thyme honey (“thimarisio meli”) in particular contains a far higher quantity of antioxidants (such as polyphenols and flavonoids) than other honeys, therefore qualifying as the healthiest of honeys. It has strong anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial effects and is therefore an ideal natural preventive and cure to colds and throat infections.
Well the good news is that Crete is one of the biggest producers of high quality thyme honey in the world! This is not surprising for an island having extremely large natural populations of thyme bushes and other herbs. There are hundreds of beekeepers moving their cells around in search for the best blossoming thyme herbs. If you try the usually thick Cretan thyme honey you will easily realize that it offers an incomparable taste. And as you can easily imagine honey is widely used in Crete as spread, dip, in baking as well as a sweetener of herbal teas. It is not unrelated that Cretans, especially those consuming a lot of herbal teas with honey, have been reported to suffer relatively less from seasonal colds. There is no Cretan house without good quality honey; the sweetest contribution to the Cretan healthy lifestyle!