Around the World in 80 Bites – Bite 2

Pohutukawa honey

Bite 2 stays in New Zealand for this buttery little number. Pohutukawa is sourced from the tree of the same name. Though it does not have the same prestige as its more famous honey relative, manuka, it is still a honey of note.

Manuka honey is touted as having health benefits due to the presence of MG or Methylglyoxal. MG has antibacterial properties and the amount of it is measured through the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor). The higher the UMF, the greater concentration of MG, thus giving the honey stronger antibacterial action.
Manuka Honey Benefits

Honey in general, however, is considered to have healing properties. Even the ancient Egyptians¹ reportedly recognized the medicinal properties of this nectar. Honey is considered to be antibacterial and antiseptic. It has been used to dress wounds (likely not the same stuff you have in your cupboard!) and comprises one of the ingredients for soothing a sore throat i.e. lemon and honey in hot water. Add a little ginger and you’ve just added an anti-inflammatory component to the mix. My favourite drink when I’m feeling under the weather or I’m just simply tired of drinking plain water.

Pohutukawa is a sort of pale yellow colour and is described as having a “butterscotch” flavour. I first tried this honey in Wellington, New Zealand. I ordered the pohutukawa ice cream (delicious!) and have been a fan ever since. Every year around Christmas time, I treat myself to a jar of this stuff. It is good slathered on toast, drizzled on plain yogurt or simply eaten from the jar. Not overly sugary but still sweet, pohutukawa honey is an ideal way to satisfy a sweet tooth without having to eat too much. A teaspoon tablespoon will suffice.

The Pohutukawa is considered New Zealand’s Christmas tree as it blooms crimson in December during New Zealand’s summer.

Pure New Zealand Honey – Native Floral Honeys
The 12 Days of Christmas: The Pohutukawa
¹Medical News Today article: What are the health benefits of honey?

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