Cardoon honey is the most typical Sardinian honey. It comes from Cardoon, as the name says. Sardinia boasts more than 300 varieties of cardoon, but Sardinian cardoon honey is mostly harvested from the “galactite tomentosa” variety, or White Thorn, of which vast fields surround the sides of Mount Arci’s Natural Park, where Luigi Manias’ bees are happily located.
Out of Luigi’s 200 bee hives, 50 are dedicated to the production of cardoon honey only. Monofloral to the extreme!
Harvest time is another of Luigi’s obsession! Luigi harvests his cardoon honey on June 24th, always and only on June 24th. Why? The ancient Sardinians used to extract the honey on June 24th, San Giovanni Battista’s day and no matter what weather or what day of the week (in 2012, June 24th fell on a Sunday), Luigi is so tied to old traditions, he collects the honey on that day!
The color of cardoon honey veers towards amber or a charged orange; to the nose, this honey explodes with a range of powerful aromas, going from tropical fruit to dried flowers; its taste prolongs the aroma’s characteristics, developing it with increasing persistence and intensity; the finish is slightly bitter.
Cardoon Honey is good on and with everything. It’s a perfect match for cheese, both fresh and aged. Its lavish flavor makes it ideal with desserts which use spices, dried fruit and nuts. For your children: Heat some fresh milk to 150 degrees fahrenheit, add salt to taste and dissolve the honey in it until texture becomes like creamy toffee, spoon on slices of pear and banana, or any fruit. They’ll love it!