Honey from the Wroclaw Christmas Market in Poland

Christmas can make it easy to forget the grey cold days of winter. But for many of us in the U.S. Christmas is losing its traditional meaning as it becomes more of a shopping event combined with neighborhood competitions of lights and decorations.

Not so for the people of Poland, where Christmas continues to have a strong traditional and religious significance. Buoyed by a fervent Roman Catholic faith and passionately held traditions, Christmas continues to be a magical time of year for young and old alike in this central European country.

Christmas Market Wroclaw

Even the most cynical scrooge would be charmed by the spirit in which the people of Poland celebrate Christmas. Or delighted by the festive atmosphere as in the case of my friend, Matt, who was visiting Wroclaw Poland to negotiate a new business venture when he got serendipitously side-tracked by a visit to Old Town and the Christmas Market (Jarmark Bożonarodzeniowy).

Honeydew, Rape Seed, Acacia Honey from Poland

Matt had time to investigate local honey which is sold throughout Wroclaw, and as it turns out, at the Christmas Market. After surmounting the language barrier with exchanges of pointing, gestures and smiles with the friendly stall keepers, he decided on the three honeys shown. The Honeydew honey on the left, is produced from conifers and tends to be lighter colored at the end of the season. This one was not too sweet, fairly thick, with a savory flavor yet much milder than darker honeydews. The Acacia honey was sweeter and lighter with hints of vanilla, it would go well with ice cream. The Rape Seed honey on the far right was finely crystallized with a solid buttery feel that melted quickly and felt cool to the mouth. It was a medium sweet honey with an old cheese aroma that persisted… perhaps my favorite. Rape seed is grown for the oil which is also known as Canola oil.

Although one of the leading producers of honey in Europe, Poland has a relatively low per capita consumption of honey of about 1 lb per year, compared to the U.S at 1.3 pounds and Germany at 2.5 lbs. Most of its honey is exported to Western Europe where it is known for it high quality.

Poland is considered a strong honey-producing nation and has been known for honey since medieval times when beekeeping was a notable profession and stealing bees or beehives was punishable by death! Common varieties of honey in addition to multifloral are; acacia, rape seed, linden, buckwheat, dandelion and heather varieties. Some rarer varieties include raspberry and goldenrod honey.

The Wroclaw Christmas Market runs from the end of November to Dec 23 and is located in the heart of Wroclaw, Poland on Świdnicka Street. But of course, honey may be purchased all year long from many bee product specialty shops and farmers’ markets round the city.

References and further reading

Food From Poland Magazine

Lyson Beekeeping Products (Polish)
Wroclaw, Poland – Wikipedia

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