Koreans make a beeline for Georgian honey


By Rachel Lee – The Korea Times

Georgia boasts a long history of beekeeping and is proud of its “genuine” honey that has made a promising start in the Korean market, a Georgian envoy says.

Ambassador to Korea Nikoloz Apkhazava said honey had many health benefits and Koreans were choosing his country’s 100 percent pure honey.

“In the medieval Georgian medical book ‘Tsigni Saakimo’ (Physician’s book), honey is mentioned 118 times as an ingredient in preparing certain medicines,” the ambassador said.

“It is used for cooking and as a medicine. Georgians even make unique home-made chacha (a strong alcoholic drink) from honey. There is also a traditional Georgian confection called ‘gozinaki,’ made of caramelized walnuts fried in honey and served exclusively on New Year’s Eve and Christmas.”

Honeybees from the Caucasus mountain region, in particular, produce one of the world’s best-known honeys, and a small range, including chestnut and acacia honey, has been available in Seoul since January.

Apkhazava said his favorite is chestnut honey — dark in color and rich in tannin, with a bitter and penetrating flavor.

“It is known that chestnut honey has more antioxidants and greater anti-inflammatory properties than many lighter varieties,” he said.

Nam Do-hyun, a local exporter, said Georgian honey has nearly twice the minerals of other honey products.

“The reality is that most honey products in Korea contain sugar, which means that bees were fed sugar instead of nectar from flowers,” Nam, J-Trading CEO, said. “It’s not natural. You will tell the difference between real honey and the sugar-fed one by taste and flavour.”

Nam said Georgian honey was becoming popular with Koreans because of its unique flavour.

“Compared with others, Georgian honey is slightly pricey, but considering all the health benefits that genuine honey gives, I believe it’s definitely worth paying that much,” he said.

Nam said the company plans to introduce pine honey in the second half of this year.

For more information, visit storefarm.naver.com/caucasus.

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