Honey in Ottoman

“From their lips the remedy reaches souls, as Honey is the cure for the faithful”*


Honey held an important place in Ottoman social life and literature. Honey was used almost everywhere, especially in Sufi culture. It was consumed as a sweetener, a medicine, a sweet candy paste, and on its own. If children cried a lot during their circumcision ceremony, a finger of honey would be used to soothe them.  Divan literature and minstrels placed the word honey in the seat of honor at the banquet of words, and inserted honey in proverbs as the “delicious object.” 

Honey was an important staple in the Ottoman palace, where it was used as a sweetener as well as enjoyed on its own. Even though sugar was consumed in Ottoman times since the early period, honey maintained its popularity against it. Records from the 15th and 16th centuries show that anywhere between 14 and 65 tons of honey were consumed in the palace during various years. During the reign of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, the guesthouse in the Fatih Mosque complex gifted guests with 150 drachmas (450 grams) of honey every day.  These quantities of honey demonstrate that honey was an important staple, which was consumed in drinks and confections as a sweetener or eaten plain in both the Ottoman palace and Ottoman society.


 * “Lebinden dillere derman erer kim Asel müminlerin oldu şifası”