- Region: Tasmania, Australia
- Price range: mid, mid-high, high, exclusive
- Colour: medium (ochre-yellow)
- Crystallization: quick (into very fine crystals)
- Taste: floral (very fine with a subtle spice and savory quality)
- Sweetness: light
- Most suitable for: Use the same way as manuka honey
Leatherwood honey comes from Tasmania and is one of its rarest and finest honeys.
Leatherwood is the single most important nectar plant in Tasmania, giving about 70% of all honey produced. Other sources of nectar giving good quality honey include clover (in pasture), eucalyptus blossoms and blackberry. It has been supporting the export economy of Tasmania for over 100 years.
Leatherwood honey is a monofloral honey that has been recognized by the international Slow Food movement in its Ark of Taste. It can be produced from two types of Leatherwood in Tasmania, Eucryphia lucida and Eucryphia milliganii, both occurring as understorey species. E. lucida is the most common and most important species to the Leatherwood honey industry. E. milliganii is less common and tends to replace E. lucida at higher altitudes and in more exposed sites.
Leatherwood (Eucryphia lucida) is a tree that grows in the forests of Tasmania’s wild west coast. It is the single most important nectar plant in Tasmania, giving about 70% of all honey produced. It likes water a lot which is why it grows very well in climates of 1500–2500 mm annual rainfall. Most of these trees are difficult to access, as they grow really deep in those forests. Human settlements are few and far between, and the region is rich in flora and fauna, containing many rare and protected species. To make the leatherwood honey, beekeepers camp in the forest during the leatherwood harvest, which occurs between January and March.
Researcher Charles Dragar, a Tasmanian scientist, says leatherwood honey might be used like manuka honey to heal wounds and boost the immune system.
Tasmanians have always been using this honey as a cure for hang-over. It is known to be an excellent detoxifier of liver, being recommended to be taken before the drinks, and immediately after.