Orange honey - Sainte-Marie du Désert abbey
This orange honey is lovingly prepared and packaged by the Trappist monks of the Sainte-Marie du Désert abbey.
From Blagnac starting towards Thil, it is enough to leave the plain of the Garonne towards the first hills of Gascony, to find at the end of a road which meanders in the green, the Sainte-Marie du Désert abbey. The location is isolated, at the top of a bute, far from everything.
After receiving the honey barrels, finely selected, the monks use their tallent to rework and be able to carry out the potting.
This orange honey has incredible citrus notes. Renowned for its soothing virtues, it is as good on a bread and butter sandwich as it is to sweeten an herbal tea.
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Origin : Spain (hard to find enough orange trees in our beautiful France - it's warmer in the Spanish sun)
From 1852, the monks were able to create here, in this geographical desert, a harmonious place of recollection, where the brick buildings blend into nature.
From laity to honey
However, when one goes to the honey shop, "the machine to do everything" - the one that pumps, capsule and label - runs at full speed. The small glass jars are colored yellow at the speed of light under the watchful eye of Henri who has worked for the monks for over 30 years. "I started as a farm worker," he says. For 10 years, he has been joined by his wife Gisèle, the couple is working on the packaging of honey that comes from Spain and southern France in drums of 300 liters. "On the pots, it is clear that the honey is selected and packaged, it is not desert honey," says Henri, while showing a label.
This morning, the "all-purpose machine" will "give birth" to 600 jars of 500 grams. Some will take place on the shelves of the Desert Shop, but most will be sent to the stores of other monasteries. "Originally, we only sold honey from the abbey, in other words sunflower honey. Today, by bringing honey from elsewhere, we have expanded our range. We offer orange honey, lemon, Pyrenees, chestnut, linden, acacia, lavender, buckthorn, thyme, eucalyptus ... We sell an average of 38 tons per year, or about 80,000 pots, "says Henry.
Be that as it may, with or without hives, the Desert always manages to make its honey.
The number : 38
tons of honey a year. Sainte-Marie du Désert Abbey sells 38 tonnes of honey a year. About 80,000 pots.