Ark of Taste is an international program run by the Slow Food Foundation of Biodiversity. The goal of the Ark of Taste is to create a vast catalogue with contributions from many people globally to represent the planet’s edible diversity at risk of being lost.
The Ark of Taste was created to point out the existence of these products, draw attention to the risk of their extinction and invite everyone to take action to help protect them: by seeking them out, buying and consuming them; telling their story; supporting their producers; and, in some cases promoting their conservation and reproduction. Worldwide, there are nearly 2000 products listed on the Ark, including edible fruits, vegetables, dairy products, animal breeds, breads, cheese and so much more.
The Australian Ark of Taste currently has 17 products, all listed here by Slow Food Australia, including South Australian product Ligurian Bee Honey.
Slow Food South Australia currently has many new products in the nomination process for the Ark of Taste. If you have an inquiry or suggestion about a product for the Ark of Taste, feel free to contact us about it, we would be more than happy to help you.
Read more about the Ark of Taste.
South Australian Ark of Taste products
Kangaroo Island Ligurian Bee Honey
Ligurian Bee Honey is producted only on Kangaroo Island by Ligurian bees (Apis Mellifera Ligustica), originally imported from Italy in the 1880s. An act of South Australian Parliament in 1885 declared the island a sanctuary for Ligurian bees and the keeping of bees other than Ligurian bees was prohibited. The isolation of Kangaroo Island from mainland Australia has helped in maintaining a genetically pure population of honeybees that are descendants of the original Ligurian queens. Since the arrival of the Ligurian bee, no other race or strain of honeybee has been introduced onto the island, which now is home to the oldest bee sanctuary in the world. The Kangaroo Island bee population is believed to represent the last remaining pure stock of this Italian race found anywhere in the world. As such, they are considered an important genetic resource for queen breeders and for apicultural research.
The quality of the honey also depends on the local flora, including various varieties of indigenous eucalypts, in particular the sugar gum (Eucalyptus cladacalyx), and also cup gum, cong mallee, messmate stringy-bark, peppermint box, blue gum, river red gum, pink gum, white mallee, SA coastal mallee and narrow-leaved mallee. Other melliferous flora include the scarlet bottlebrush, native fuschsia, melaleucas, pomaderris and broom bush.
Kangaroo Island Ligurian Bee Honey varies according to the flora from which the bees collect nectar, but perhaps the most characteristic is the delicate, light but distinctively flavoured sugar gum honey. Eucalypt honeys are medium to dark amber in colour, of medium density and full depth of flavour. Wildflower honey, collected from flowering species of banksia, hakea, melaleucas and flowering annuals, is full-flavoured, medium to dark amber in colour and medium density. Spring flora honey, produced from various spring flowering species such as clover, lucerne, canola, capeweed and other pasture plants, is light in colour with good density and a distinctive, mild flavour.
Clifford’s Honey Farm is one of many honey producers on Kangaroo Island. Dave and Jenny Clifford have been bee keepers since 1973 with the Honey Farm Shop Established in 1993. To learn more about the history of the Kangaroo Island Ligurian Honey Bee, you can read about it here.
Photo courtesy of ‘Coorong Wild Seafood.’