The taràssaco is a plant belonging to the Asteraceae family, better known as "dandelion" or "dandelion", known since ancient times for its medicinal properties. It grows spontaneously in lowland areas and up to an altitude of 2000 meters. Its leaves have depurative properties and can stimulate liver functions, the root can be used as a diuretic.
From the taràssaco nectar it is possible to obtain honey, which is produced in early spring, especially in Northern Italy.
DESCRIPTION AND PROCESSING
The dandelion honey it is distinguished from the other honeys by its typically bright yellow color, which turns beige if mixed with willow honey, and by its strong and penetrating, almost ammoniac smell.
Another characteristic is that it has a very rapid crystallization, due to the high glucose content, which occurs in the finest crystals: this is why it is inadvisable to leave it inside the ripener for too long, with the risk that, once the limit, you can no longer put it in jars.
The consistency of this honey is extremely creamy and pasty and is particularly moist, given that it has a considerable amount of excess water, which risks making it reach fermentation; for this reason many manufacturers provide for its dehumidification based on hot air, or with the appropriate instrument.
The bee families are bred in beehives made of wood and the beekeepers carry out their work with special techniques to ensure that when the spring starts they can get as many bees as possible.
The flowering used for the production of tarassax honey usually lasts from February to the first half of May. Precisely because of this precociousness of flowering, the hives are not always populated enough to provide the beekeeper with a sufficient harvest. In this case the nectar will be mixed with subsequent crops.
So the taràssaco is a honey rather difficult to produce, partly because the climatic conditions are not always suitable, and then for the conditions of the bees, which are still tired from the winter and sometimes the families are not yet developed enough to face the honey collection. All these difficulties in production cause the taràssaco to be a rather rare and valuable honey. There have even been vintages in which "honey in danger of extinction" was declared by beekeepers.
However, when the general conditions allow it, at the end of flowering and after the combs have been operculated, the supers are taken from the beehives and taken to the lab's honey-extractor room, after which the honeycomb is uncapped and the honey is removed. Finally the honey is filtered, it is put in steel ripeners and left there for two weeks, during which it is eliminated to remove the foam and all the impurities that appear.
In Italy the areas where more taràssaco honey is produced are Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino, Lombardy and Piedmont.
The taràssaco honey, in addition to having a remarkable glucose concentration, which allows its rapid crystallization, is mainly composed of water, fructose, maltose, proteins, acids, mineral salts (especially calcium, iron and phosphorus), the substances of the flower between which pigments, phosphates and vitamins. It is important to remember that the sugars contained in honey are products derived from nature, without any human intervention, and therefore beneficial and healthy.
USE AND PROPERTY
Used since ancient times, honey was called "the nectar of the gods" due to its many beneficial properties, ancient peoples used it for healing purposes and beauty (in fact, mixed with water, clay and leaves of cedar, they made a cream) and use it widely in the kitchen.
Moreover, in ancient times, as a wish for happiness, couples of young spouses were made to drink mead, a very special drink made with honey, water and yeast. The expression "honeymoon" comes from this old custom.
Honey has the advantage of giving the body a large number of calories, not harmful: for this reason it can be consumed with tranquility. It is very useful for supplying energy to those who carry out physical activities, in fact it is particularly indicated for the nutrition of athletes, but honey is also good for the brain and the nervous system because it can help mental efficiency.
The dandelion honey it is no less. It is generally found in 500 gram jars and is used mainly as table honey. Having its best quality in the creamy consistency and slightly pungent taste and not at all cloying, it can be eaten with a spoon or spread on bread. Many people, in fact, prefer it to traditional honeys due to its flavor of fresh spices, chamomile and vanilla. Naturally it is also excellent to accompany spicy cheeses
In addition to the use made of it in the kitchen, taràssaco honey is also used as an adjuvant
in some diets it is often used to fight kidney problems. In fact one of the properties that characterize it is precisely the diuretic and draining one, therefore it can perform a remarkable beneficial activity on the kidneys.
Because of its purifying properties, it is used in the "restorative" treatments that are done in the spring, when there is more need to expel all the toxins in the body and to recharge energy for the summer.