Honey is one of the most popular products of La Gomera. This delicatessen is not only popular for its delicious flavour or its nutrients, but also it is popular for its medicinal properties. The honey from La Gomera is made in many different ways and here you can find both traditional and palm honey. Do you know which one is better? Get to know the property of these delicacies and discover the different dishes that can be made with them.
La Gomera palm honey comes from the sap of the Canarian palm tree, also known as guarapo. Honey is made only from the sap, no preservative is added, and so the result is a delicious natural product. The juice of the palm tree is collected following the centennial technique of the guarapeo, a tradition that is already part of the history of La Gomera.
Palm honey is grown mainly in the municipality of Vallehermoso by professional guaraperos. Its flavour is delightful and intense, like velvety liquid caramel. This famous ingredient of La Gomera is used in almost all the restaurants of Hotel Jardín Tecina. It is present in salty and especially in sweet dishes in our restaurants: Enogastroteca canaria Gara, El Laurel, and in our main restaurant, where every night we offer a palm honey fountain which has been very successful among visitors.
For generations, the guaraperos have climbed the palms trees of the Canary Islands, to clean the leaves until the bud is exposed, the next step is to make a thin cut until the sap or "guarapo" comes out. This process is considered as "to curer" the palm tree and is done every afternoon, to collect the guarapo the day after in the morning. The best time to do this process is during the spring months since the plant has taken all the water from the rains of the winter months. A palm tree in excellent condition can produce up to twelve liters of garapo a day.
Once you have the sap, how do you make the palm honey? The palm honey is obtained after cocking (at slow temperature) the guarapo, almost immediately after having picked it up and before the fermentation begins. For hundreds of years, palm honey has been used as a natural medicine to cure ache or infections. Formerly, it was used to treat throat or cold diseases. Its high levels of iron, phosphorus or magnesium also make it an ideal ingredient for the meals of our kids and also help to control hypothyroidism.
Palm honey does not come from bees, so it is not correct to use the word "honey" to refer to it. However, it has been named in this way on the island for many years, and among popular culture, its original name is maintained. According to its technical name and origin, should be called syrup. Palm honey has a lot in common with honey... This makes us wonder which honey is better?
A recent study from the University of La Laguna has concluded that the nutritional properties of palm honey are better than those from honey, because of its higher levels of calcium, copper or potassium. However, the traditional honey from La Gomera is also very popular among its inhabitants, who collect it and prepare it in the traditional way preserving its spectacular flavour.
Do you know any recipe made with honey from La Gomera? Main dishes such as Ibérico loin or honey cod, are made with palm honey, for desserts we can mention roasted milk and curd cakes or some liqueurs. You can also mix it with the popular Canarian gofio to prepare cocktails, or choose a delicious goat cheese to add palm honey. Once you have tried it, what about taking it home? It will be a perfect souvenir from la Gomera when you are back home.