Honey in Russia

The folklore and the modern role of honey for Russian tradition

By Federal Agency for Tourism

Honey (21st Century) by tm agencyFederal Agency for Tourism

Honey varieties are classified by the kind of plant that the bees have taken most of their nectar from. In Central Russia alone, there are dozens of varieties: sunflower, sweet clover, buckwheat, linden, cornflower, pumpkin, motherwort, apple, herbal, and so on. 

A jar of linden honey coupled with dried raspberry, for example, will be stashed away to face an occasional winter cold prepared. Most often, however, honey will be consumed at tea or used for desserts or pastry. 

Factory Honey traditions 3 by Medovye Traditsii FactoryFederal Agency for Tourism

The Role of Honey in Folklore

Honey from 'Vasilisa the Beautiful' fairytale: Honey was another product that Vasilisa retrieved from the cellar. Originally, it was obtained from what the Slavs called bort, or a hollow tree inhabited by wild bees. Then came the invention of apiaries or bee farms.

Today, honey is a flavour, a treatment, and a treat  that goes with tea or pancakes. It is extracted from lime trees, buckwheat, flowers, and even mustard. 

Honey shop (21st Century) by tm agencyFederal Agency for Tourism

Many Russian folk tales end with a set expression that mentions honey drunk by the narrator.

Yes, it’s true: in days of old, honey was also a beverage made by brewing honeycombs in hot water mixed with hops. 

Credits: Story

Сhief Сonsultant — Ekaterina Drozdova, restaurateur, gastronomic entrepreneur, food and social activist, Photo production — tm agency, Contributors — Proximity Russia, Denis Yershov, Alexandra Grigoryeva

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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