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Food Mythology

Honey- Food of Gods

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Has anyone tasted Nectar??  where can you find the nectar? The real nectar is honey, says ancient Greek mythology. Honey reassembled nectar believed to have unimaginable powers, also as a source of wisdom and poetry. Honey is also the truth, and it is one product that needs no processing and is made of natural flowers. The color, flavor, and aroma of honey depend on the flowers the bees visit. In Provence, France we find the most unusual acacia honey, which is very sweet, liquidy and pale golden in color and has intoxicating aroma due to lavender. In ancient Rome, there used to be ivory honey with a special flavor due to rosemary. Then there was the Greek honey of Mount Hymettus, which was the favorite of the gods.

The golden-hued honey also has a very important place in the Indian tradition it is used as one of the sacred ingredients for performing Abhishek. The Atharva Veda glorifies honey having the ability to boost Confidence and able people to speak strong. The Romans offer sacrifices of honey to appease pluto the god of the underworld. so that he would not appear in the form of a fiery serpent or as volcanic lava. Honey is certainly mysterious, especially in Greek history and mythology.

In the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer, it is mentioned, that the gods of Olympus lived on honey (nectar) and honey wine (ambrosia). In Greek the word “nectar” means “victory over death” and Ambrosia stands for “immortality”.

Aphrodite, The Greek goddess of beauty used honey and beeswax to enhance her beauty. In the ancient world, honey was the first food and has a very special place in Greek mythology.

According to a legend, Rhea mother of God Zeus hid him, in a sacred cavern, on mount lycaeus. a place of immortality, where time did not exist and this sacred place was guarded by fiery bees. Here young Zeus was nursed by Amalthea and Melissa who are daughters of king Melissus. Amalthea and Melissa took great care of Zeus. Amalthea fed Zeus with her goat’s milk and Melissa fed Zeus with honey, Mellisa means she who makes honey. Honey gave the baby Zeus lot of strength, wisdom, and power.

Honey was also forbidden for human consumption those days. Once four armored intruders came in the cavern to steal honey, as they came to baby Zeus started to cry, his cry was thunderous which made the intruders drop their weapons. Giving opportunity to the bees to attack. It was belived that no one could die in the cave particularly after touching honey. So Zeus being merciful turned these intruders to birds and save them from bees fury.

In one more Greek legend, it was said that during the Golden Age, honey ran from the oak trees and the Titan Kronos was sleeping, intoxicated with honey, he had the first sleep in the world. Taking advantage of this situation, his son Zeus chained him and took him away to the Islands of the Blest at the end of the world. The place is still said to have Kronos and the Age of Gold present.

Another legend says that honey was a gift of the god of wine, Dionysus. While he was returning from his expedition on his way back, he was playing with his attendant satyrs, who struck their sistra, a musical instrument to mark time. As the instrument played a swarm of incest’s flew out of the woods, Dionysus guided everyone to a tree and shut themselves up in it, and filled with honey. This legends also iterates the creation of honey.

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