The Greek word for honey is Melite and having such a special blend of the amber nectar, Malta, as it is known today, was named and known as Meilta for hundreds of years until the Arabs came in around 870 A.D, and changed the name of the country and left quite a mark on the language too. Did you know Maltese is the only Semtic language written in Roman script? You learn a new thing every day.
Something I learned writing this piece is that there is an indigenous honeybee to Malta, which is blacker than its cousins in Europe, which gets to holiday around the islands (I’m serious) whereby their hives are taken to differing parts of the islands so they can produce different flavours at different times of the year. Spring is the time for floral varieties which we hope to have captured the essence of in our new pocket squares, Summer is all about thyme, and Autumn, eucalyptus and the protected and delicious Carob.
They say you should have honey from your local to fight infections and nature seems to have created these to time in perfectly with the medicinal properties of the flora of the time. A good honey will solidify, in fact, if it doesn’t, you’ve probably bought a manufactured blend. Temperature does have something to do with viscosity, but honey should murk and crystallise.
You’d think with such an awesome product we’d make more of it, but we have a circular cake with an impossible to pronounce name (in English it is called a Honey Ring) which doesn’t actually contain honey, it’s made with black treacle, though in its defence, it was once made from the honeycomb. Very delicious in this modern form, so worth trying if you get to Malta.
Honey is great for sore throats and skincare though too. Got a blemish? Eczema? Well honey is said to be a natural exfoliator and helps to reveal new skin beneath blemishes as well as having anti-inflammatory properties. Please don’t be wearing your favourite Gagliardi gear if you try this at home. Could get messy. But do pair our new collection hankies which pay tribute to our ties with the honeybee with your Summer jackets or suits.
If bees aren't your thing we also have fruit and pelican themed options:
We do use honey to sweeten things during the period of Lent. We Maltese do have a knack of finding a loophole…and with Easter upon us, we can indulge in some mead too, though not so easy to find, it’s very easy to drink!
Have a Happy Easter, honey.