Aromatic and rich, all the way from New Zealand comes Manuka honey, packed with awesome flavours and unique healthy benefits.
Manuka is a mono-floral honey that originates from an unspoiled and pollution-free region in New Zealand.
It's exclusively produced by bees that feed only on the Manuka bush, which has powerful antibacterial properties.
*This article is sponsored by Comvita, all opinions are my own. Learn more about sponsored posts on The Petite Cook here.*
New Zealand's Maori were the first to discover and use the healing properties of Manuka.
They used the leaves for a medicinal drink to reduce fever-like symptoms, while the oil from the crushed leaves applied to wounds as a natural antiseptic.
What Makes Manuka Honey Unique
All kind of honey appears to contain some antibacterial properties, and since ancient times has been used to make tonics, heal wounds, cure cold and flu symptoms and other remedies.
What makes Manuka honey so special is its additional and measurable antibacterial potency, also referred as a non-peroxide activity.
The UMF, Unique Manuka Factor, is a quality trademark and grading system that helps identify and regulate the presence of NPA (Non-Peroxide Activity) in Manuka honey.
Remember that, especially when it comes to Manuka, not all honey is the same.
Ordinary manuka has only the hydrogen peroxide antibacterial property which is common to most types of honey, whereas UMF Manuka has both the natural hydrogen peroxide antibacterial property and its own natural UMF antibacterial property.
In other words, if you want to fully benefit the properties of this unique liquid gold, make sure you invest your money in certified UMF Manuka honey.
Benefits of UMF Manuka Honey
Manuka honey with high levels of UMF can be helpful to relieve gastritis, sore throats, and if applied topically, can speed the healing process of skin ulcers and wounds.
Thanks to its antibacterial and antioxidants properties, Manuka is also finding its way in skincare and beauty products, and it's also popular as a face mask.
Cooking With Manuka Honey
That's my favourite side of Manuka honey. Besides all the health benefits, for me it all comes down to its unique incredible taste.
Gooey, deeply rich and robust in flavors, it's a joy to the palate and can instantly upgrade any recipe.
Manuka makes a great addition to savory dishes like baked camembert, or to add a twist to salad vinaigrettes.
If you're craving something sweet, the sky is the limit! Add a spoonful or two to anything from summery
Don't be surprised to find that Manuka honey can be a little more pricey than other popular honey types.
But my experience with food tells me that sadly, most of the time, good stuff comes with a price.
The way I see Manuka is the same as Parmigiano cheese, they are both exclusively produced in certain areas and due to their unique properties are more expensive than their similars.
You can settle for a low-priced alternative, but as much as you can't compare the amazing umami-intense taste of Parmesan cheese with its cheap counterparts, the same formula applies to Manuka honey.
Choose Your Manuka Honey Right
There have been some scandals in the past years about mislabeled Manuka, so it's important you pick your honey wisely.
When choosing your UMF Manuka honey, make sure you're getting the real deal.
My best tip is to look around, always check the labels, check the company websites and learn more about who makes the product you're buying.
For additional help, you can easily find around the web many guides with the best manuka honey brands available on the market.
It doesn't surprise me to see Comvita proudly dominating at the top of these lists, since it's probably the most recognized and trusted brand of Manuka Honey in the world with a UMF certified Manuka honey rating.
The company has been in the business for more than 40 years producing natural products that work, and acting in a way that preserves the environment.
I discovered Manuka honey a long time before starting this blog, and switched different brands before finally getting my hands on Comvita products.
Their UMF Manuka honey tasted overall super good and since was widely reviewed as a trustworthy brand I decided to stick with it.
I finally had the chance to meet the fantastic team behind Comvita at their recent Get Sticky brunch organized in central London.
What I enjoyed the most about this initiative was the exciting opportunity to learn more about the whole honey process, and discuss all the health benefits behind this powerful superfood.
I've also appreciated the deep insights on Comvita philosophy and story.
Remember it's always important to know as much as you can about your favorite brands, so you can better trust them.