Miel de Mokarana
Mokarana is the name of a village in southeastern Madagascar, but it is also the name of a tree that is native to the island, from which bees extract pollen to make excellent honey. This honey is one of the rarest on the island, along with rosewood, niaouli and litchi honeys.
Sweet and delicate, this honey is gathered from December until June along the eastern coast of Madagascar. It has calming and curative properties, especially for children, and is also used on fractured bones and for contractions. Slightly crystallized, the product is opaque, dense and creamy. On the palate the honey has fresh floral notes and a hint of prune, with a light and caramelized aftertaste, similar to spring honey but with a more exotic flavor.
This product is consumed during the Santa-Bary ceremony (or rice festival) that takes place between April and May after the first rice harvest, or during the Fidirana an-drano vao, a ceremony used to inaugurate a new house. In both cases, this honey is mixed with milk and served with rice. What’s more, when a person enters a new house for the first time a dab of honey is put on the face, in a sign of welcome.
This product is ever more rare in the local markets, even in the region where it comes from, Vatovay Fitovinanany, and the prices are quite high (almost twice as much as litchi honey). In fact, the production of this honey is growing weaker due to the lack of modernized gathering and processing tools, the introduction – ever more widespread – of essential oils developed in the region with the backing of financed projects that threaten the Mokaran trees and the lack of a reforestation program that will help the tree survive.