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Luigi Manias, our beekeeper, dedicates 50 of his 200 bee hives to the exclusive production of cardoon honey; his bees access the “galactite tomentosa” variety, or White Thorn, which fill the vast fields around Mount Arci Natural Preserve. True to Sardinian custom, Luigi harvests his cardoon honey on exactly June 24th, the feast of San Giovanni Battista, and traditional Sardinian cardoon honey harvest day!
Like all honey, it has both homeopathic and culinary uses. It is considered a treatment for coughs and sore throats, and is the world’s oldest sweetener. Our inner Italian child loves this super quick but fancy dessert: heat some fresh milk to 150 degrees, add a bit of salt, and dissolve the honey in it until the texture becomes like creamy toffee. Spoon it onto slices of pear and banana, or any fruit you like!
Its rich vegetation and lack of pollution make Sardegna the perfect honey-producing region – it is believed that beekeeping has been a tradition on the island since at least the 17th century. Luigi himself is a third generation beekeeper; his family has the longest documented beekeeping activity in Sardegna, and he is considered the leading Italian authority on the subject. Luigi has won more national awards for his honey than any other Sardinian beekeeper, and he frequently holds lectures and workshops in apiculture.
Luigi is also a passionate believer in sustainable agriculture; in 2009 he moved his honey production to the Mount Arci Natural Preserve, where his bees enjoy a pristine environment and incredible plant diversity. His honey lab is built entirely of mud bricks, following the most stringent criteria of eco design. He produces five varieties of organic honey: Millefiori (thousand flowers); Eucalyptus; Cardoon; Asphodel and Corbezzolo.