Name: Native Chilean Raw Honey. Ulmo Tree Honey.
You can buy it: At Whole Foods or on the Internet here.
Purchased: January, 2009
Flavor: Anise with strong element of black currents. Has a very pleasant, lingering black licorice aftertaste.
Fragrance: Anise seed.
Notes: Why don’t Peruvians, Bolivians and Ecuadorians look to Chile as their model rather than to some Leftist lunatic like Hugo Chavez? South America remains one of the great economic mysteries to me. I’ve been there twice and thoroughly enjoyed my visits. The people are hard-working and ambitious. You can feel the energy in the air – whether that air be in Brazil, Peru or Argentina. Sometimes, like in Lima, you can literally hear the energy with car and mini-bus horns blaring, day and night. But these countries always manage to squander whatever progress they make by embracing demagogues like Chavez and their utopian, guaranteed-to-fail, socialist fantasies.
Chile is the one clear exception. For three decades it has been a model of free market capitalism and has thrived. It has the most vibrant economy, the best education system, the least crime and the highest standard of living on the continent. Much of the winter produce in American supermarkets comes from Chile. They are also the world’s leading producers of salmon and have developed a rapidly expanding and improving wine sector. Santiago, the capital has the temperate climate of San Diego and the cosmopolitan life-style to match.
The Chileans almost blew it in the early 1970’s when they elected the Marxist Salvador Allende, one of the Left’s great martyrs to lead the country. He was quickly leading it off the proverbial cliff when he was overthrown by a military coup headed by General Augusto Pinochet. With some help from the CIA and economist Milton Friedman, Pinochet, reviled by Leftists at universities world-wide, saved the country. That’s not the politically correct version of Chile’s history, but it happens to be true. As usual, Paul Johnson, the British historian, in his must-read Modern Times provides a brief and compelling summary of these events.
Back to honey: This honey is monofloral, harvested by Chilean bees from the Ulmo Tree. I’ve never heard of it, but from the pictures I’ve seen, it’s very pretty. It grows abundantly in Chile and Argentina and blooms in February and March, the South American equivalent of our July and August. It’s large, camellia-like, white flowers make it a tempting bee destination.
The anise, licorice flavors hits you immediately and stays with you for minutes afterwards. Beautifully packaged and easily available from a very stylish website, once again Chile leads in the way for her South American neighbors.