Flower of the month: acacia

Flower of the month: acacia

This week, we are talking about the acacia, its real name the black locust. This tree gives us one of the most famous honeys in France. North of the Loire, it is one of the first honeys to be harvested, a few weeks after the Hawthorn and Rapeseed honey.

Origin of the black locust

Native to North America, the black locust is an initially exotic plant that has been naturalized in all regions of France where it can sometimes behave like an invasive plant. The acacia was introduced to France around 1601 by Jean Robin, gardener of King Henry IV. It would be the oldest tree in Paris. It can thrive without difficulty in difficult situations.
 
The flowers of the locust tree are widely used in perfumery and are perfectly edible. It is also possible to make delicious donuts.

acacia en fleurs

 

Flowering acacia

It is a very melliferous tree which flowers in April-May. Weather conditions in spring are often uncertain. Yet acacia honey is based on two criteria: little rain and a minimum temperature of 20 ° C. It is not uncommon for these conditions not to be met and for it to make the production of acacia honey irregular ... especially these days. So it is not such a common honey.

Acacia honey is becoming increasingly rare.
The pollen production is very low. The honey of the acacia black locust lasts very little time.

Acacia honey

The honey collected is highly sought after because it is very fine, tasteless, transparent and slowly crystallizes, if not nonexistent. For this, it must be extracted as soon as the flowering is over to avoid "pollution" of other honeydews, many at this time of year. At the time of its extraction, a kind of emulsion is produced which clouds the product.
 
As a reminder, just because honey crystallizes does not mean that it is of poor quality or that it is no longer good to consume. Crystallization does not alter the quality and virtues of honey in any way. It is only a question of foraged flowers.
 
It is a honey that contains more fructose than glucose. This explains why it remains in the liquid state for a very long time.
 
It is very popular with all ages and especially children because its taste is sweet and versatile! Acacia honey is a great way to add sweetness to your children's desserts naturally and without the negative health effects of white sugar.