Red House Honey’s Excellent Peruvian Adventure #redhousehoney @redhousehoney06
Traditional Peruvian Vinyard
Red House Honey visited Peru this December, spending Christmas Day at Macchu Picchu and mastering the art of the Pisco Sour.
Beekeeping is alive and well in Peru. Bees are kept even at the very high altitudes of the Cusco region
(11,000 feet) and beyond. Bees forage on many local plants including avocado, orange blossoms, and eucalyptus (though this latter is not indigenous). While investigating local wines and pisco (a by-product of the wine production process) RHH stumbled upon an the Mis Girasoles Apicola (apiary) in the tiny village of Catapalla, in Lunahuana district in the hills about three hours drive from Lima. RHH purchased four delicious jars of honey, two of which broke in a suitcase on the way home, conveniently covering two exquisite Quechua tapestries. Fortunately, alpaca wool is tough and strong. The honey washed out and aside from a strange dog smell throughout RHH’s laundry room, all was well.
Incan Agricultural Terraces, Pisac, Peru
Avocado honey is dark and extremely pungent, even more so than buckwheat honey. It said to be good as an expectorant, a wound dressing, as a disinfectant and a laxative. It also tastes great. This information is related on the product label, putting Peru so much farther ahead of Canada in their knowledge of the many beneficial uses of honey.
Eucalyptus honey is golden in colour and not so pungent in taste but still very sweet and somewhat nutty.
The hives we saw were placed in a rocky, arid area high above the valley floor, probably to escape flooding and predators, at least those on foot. Condors, with their three-metre wing span, are not an unusual sight in these valleys, though with a reproductive cycle in which they produce a chick every 3-5 years, and only after females reach the age of 25, their numbers are decreasing.
Alpaca and llama wander everywhere in the high regions, with women and children, often barefoot, watching them from vantage points. The women are inevitably weaving a gorgeous tapestry of bright colours. Spectacular Inca ruins are everywhere, many of them unvisited and only partially excavated.
Peruvian people, particularly the highland Quechua, who made up the Incan indigenous labouring class, are polite, friendly and proud of their culture.
It was a great time. RHH can’t wait to go back.
Incan Circular Experimental Agricultural Terraces, Moray, Peru