A gift to the world, from Tasmania's remote forests
Leatherwood honey is produced in the great forests of our island's wild and rugged west coast. Human settlements are few and far between, and the region is rich in flora and fauna, containing many rare and protected species. Some people believe that Tasmania's west coast is the last remaining home of the Tasmanian tiger or thylacine, reputed to have been extinct since 1936. Much of the region has been procliamed as a World Heritage Area.
Flowering from approximately January until April, the leatherwood tree (Eucryphia lucida) is endemic to Tasmania and originated nearly 65 million years ago.The best stands of leatherwood are often hidden deep within the forest and can be difficult to access, but the delicious rewards are well worth the trouble.
While many Tasmania's say that leatherwood 'Tastes like the wilderness', the International Slow Food Movement describe it in the following way:
Leatherwood honey is slightly liquid with uniform crystalisation, a smooth creamy texture and an ochre-yellow color. The perfume is intense with notes of balsalmic scents, which develops quickly into clean fresh notes of citrus fruits and white flowers. The flavor is clean and fresh, very balsalmic, with lightly spicy notes in its long finish. Overall, the sensation of eating this honey is very pleasurable: it is creamy, buttery, low in acidity and melts in the mouth.
The Internatonal Slow Food Movement promotes and protects the enjoyment of 'slow food', that is food made from natural, fresh ingredients, using time honoured techniques. One of the organisation's key initiatives is the Ark of Taste. Just as Noah's ark was filledwith two of every animal to ensure their long term survival, so the ark of taste has been established to ensure the survival of the world's precious foods.
"The Ark of Taste aims to rediscover, catalog, describe and publicize forgotten flavors. It is a metaphorical recipient of excellent gastronomic products that are threatened by industrial standardization, hygiene laws, the regulations of large-scale distribution and environmental damage".
Recognising that leatherwood honey is a rare and special food, the International Slow Food Movement commited to its preservation by including it in the Ark of Taste.