Tantalizing Tastes of the Honey Festival

The seaside resort of Agadir, located on the Atlantic Ocean shore near the foothills of the majestic Atlas Mountains in southwest Morocco, enjoys a mild winter climate. The climate, together with long stretches of stunning beaches, makes Agadir a popular tourist destination. An enjoyable celebration in the area of Agadir is the Honey Festival which takes place in May each year.

The Honey Festival is celebrated in nearby Argana, and people travel from far and wide to join in the festivities. Some claim that Argana is the largest and oldest collective beehive in the world. Certainly it is one of Morocco’s major producers of top quality honey. Most of the hives are constructed from reed cylinders that are then covered in clay. Age-old traditional methods are used to extract the honey from the hives.

For around 2,700 years the topical application of honey has been used to treat a number of ailments. In the past, the practice of dressing wounds with honey fell into the “alternative medicines” category, but with ongoing research verifying the amazing antiseptic and antibacterial properties of honey, this miracle of nature is being included in more conventional medicines.

The value of honey in treating coughs, colds and sore throats has long been known. Among those who promote the benefits of honey, there is the belief that, depending on where the bees gather their nectar, honey is a veritable cure-all. There are also those who mix honey with various other ingredients to enhance its curative properties. It is believed that carob honey aids digestion, lavender honey reduces stress, thyme honey can lower blood pressure and caper honey is helpful in fighting the symptoms of colds and influenza.

Whether or not you believe in the medicinal value of honey, no-one can deny that honey is a sweet treat which can be enjoyed in many ways. For example, a popular Moroccan sweet pastry is honey cake, a pretzel shaped piece of dough which is deep-fried, dipped into hot honey and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

If you visit Morocco in May be sure to stop over at Agadir to join in the Honey Festival and enjoy some tasty delicacies from one of the biggest beehives in the world.