December’s obsession: honey and beeswax

December’s obsession: honey and beeswax

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

When the eagerly-awaited Christmas market season in Germany is upon us, I try to attend as many of them as possible. I love the holiday markets not so much for all the goods that tempt the eye, but rather for the ambiance— the scents, the bright lights and the joy of gathering with seldom-seen friends over mugs of mulled wine.

There is a certain booth I flock to every year—not to browse—but to buy. The products there are natural, healing and one-of-a-kind.  German honey, I’m making a beeline for you!

First-timers to the beekeeper’s stand are in for a revelation. For beyond the bee’s most basic gift of honey are found dozens, if not hundreds, of products to soothe, pamper and delight. Pillar candles made of thinly pressed sheets of beeswax rolled into cylinders and embellished with press pins of tiny bees. Hand and foot creams. Lip gloss. Soap. Honey gummy bears. Pollen supplements for extra vitality.

A particular treat are the honey liqueurs, and if I’m in luck, the burly bearded gentleman is on hand to pour me samples into tiny plastic cups. Honey lemon schnapps, honey whiskey, honey rum … I could do this all day.

Sampling the honey itself is a no less spectacular experience. It’s fascinating to explore how the nectar gathered by the bees influences the taste of the final product. These range from the light floral honeys—lavender and rapeseed—to the darkest, strongest varieties—chestnut, fir and pine. Somewhere in the mix is my particular favorite, linden blossom honey.

The bee-keeper with whom I keep my annual date hails from the Odenwald, a thickly forested region north of Heidelberg. But he’s not the only one making business from beeswax. Many Christmas markets, even smaller ones, offer stands selling products made by members of the German Association of Beekeepers (Deutscher Imkerbund). A gold and green symbol of a beehive, flowers and trees on the product’s label assures the consumer it’s the genuine article.

Should Christmas markets be forced to take a hiatus again in 2021, there are other ways into the honey pot. Beekeepers are regulars at many farmer’s markets. Supermarkets specializing in natural products sell genuine German honey. One can always place an order online. There’s also the option of visiting a beekeeper’s very own shop in the countryside. For a list of places to visit, see https://deutscherimkerbund.de/258-Honigmarkt.

 

 

Subscribe to our Stripes Europe newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, helpful PCS tips, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Europe
Pinterest: Stars and Stripes Europe
Instagram: @StarsandStripeseurope

Related Content

Recommended Content

Around the Web