Louisiana ~ Honey
Honey is a sweet and viscous fluid produced by honeybees from the nectar of flowers. It is significantly sweeter than table sugar and has attractive chemical properties for baking. In many cultures, honey has associations that go far beyond its use as a food. In literature, religion and folk belief, honey is frequently a symbol or talisman for sweetness of every kind including its being considered as an aphrodisiac.
Loosely called “the nectar of Aphrodite”, honey is one of the most seductive foods in the world. Sticky, viscous, deliciously sweet, honey is as much a sensual experience as it is a delicious indulgence.
Honey has been collected in Louisiana since before it became a state in 1812. In the 19th century, some of Louisiana's big plantations produced thousands of pounds of honey each year. Today, not only are thousands of pounds of honey collected every year in Louisiana, but queen bees bred in Louisiana are sent all over the United States to raise new bee colonies.
The honeybee was made the official insect in 1977.
Always store honey at room temperature away from excessive heat. Do not store honey in the refrigerator, as excessive cold will cause honey to crystallize. If honey should crystallize, place it in boiling water for 2-3 minutes until it returns to liquid. You can also microwave 1 cup of honey in a microwave safe container on high until crystals dissolve. Stir every 30 seconds. Honey darkens with age but will retain its flavor.
Historically, many medicines in Egyptian times were based on honey including cures for sterility and impotence. Also, medieval seducers plied their partners with Mead, a fermented drink made from honey. Lovers on their "Honeymoon" drank mead and it was thought to "sweeten" the marriage.
Raw honey also contains enzymes that help in its digestion, several vitamins and antioxidants; the reason, perhaps, why it is considered to have an aphrodisiac effect.
Honey has also been known to have medical properties. For around 2000 years, honey has been used to treat a variety of ailments through topical application, though it was not until modern times that the cause of infection was understood. Now, has shown that the folk remedy of using honey to treat wounds has a scientific explanation: it acts as an antiseptic/antibacterial agent. As an antimicrobial agent honey has potential for treating a variety of ailments. Antibacterial properties of honey are the result of the low water activity causing osmosis, hydrogen peroxide effect, and high acidity.
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