Tasmania shares many of the same plants and animals with Australia but it also has many unique species–the result of approximately 10,000 years of separation from Australia by the rising waters of the end of the last ice age. Some of the oldest forests in the world grow here and are considered so valuable that over 2.5 million acres are protected as a World Heritage Site. Leatherwood is a cool temperate rainforest tree that produces masses of white, showy flowers with a sweet scent and considerable nectar. Leatherwood is thought to have evolved on the ancient super-continent of Godwanna. The name is likely in reference to the leather colored sheath that covers young leaves and petals and to the toughness of the wood.
Leatherwood honey is Tasmania’s premier honey, accounting for close to 70% of all honey produced. Unlike many aromatic honeys that offer a feminine perfumed scent, Leatherwood honey is musky and spicy. It reaches all the way to the back of your throat and propels you along in a full bodied taste experience! The texture is creamy and smooth and it is not too sweet or acidic, it melts in your mouth and offers a lingering aftertaste. Note that it does crystallize into very fine crystals and can get quite firm. It is best appreciated in its liquid, creamy form. Very gently heat it for 2-3 hours at under 100 degrees F. To truly appreciate this honey it must be liquid and creamy. After heating, it will stay liquid for many weeks. The color is creamy yellow to ocher.
Latin Name: Eucryphia lucida (major source) and Eucryphia milliganii
Honey Origin: Produced only in Tasmania, Australia.
Recognition: Listed in the International Ark of Taste – Leatherwood Honey. Foods included in the list are intended to be “culturally or historically linked to a specific region, locality, ethnicity or traditional production practice”, in addition to being rare.