We’re in Tblisi Searching for the World’s Oldest Honey (Oh, and P.S., We need help)


Gamarjoba! We’re in Georgia, a country that feels tipsily young, energetic, inventive, and rebellious – an incredible feat considering that it’s one of the world’s oldest cultures and peoples (if you’ve met a Georgian before you know that Georgia boasts the world’s oldest wine as well as the oldest human remains outside of Africa). But did you know Georgia also is home to the world’s oldest honey? For all of their pride, most Georgians actually don’t. We are on quest to find the researchers who uncovered this recent honey discovery or the PR firm who released the press release about it this past May, 2012. We’re here in Tbilisi, lining up interviews left and right but finding few leads.

Do you have some ideas for us? How do we find the world’s oldest honey?

We’ve been starting by uncovering Georgia’s political history, its traditions, and its food, (you can find evidence below this post of our discoveries as İ’ve been taking this light lull time to learn how to use instagram and an iphone).

While a breather has been fun, we need to get to work. Do you have any leads or advice for us?

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About Cat

Catherine de Medici Jaffee is a National Geographic Young Explorer, a Fulbright Scholar, a Luce Fellow, the Founder of Balyolu: the Honey Road, and a lunatic about honey culture in the Caucasus. Raised on a farm in the Colorado Rockies, Cat grew up loving animals, dirt, and altitude. Her dedication and passion for animals, agriculture, and women leaders has launched her across the world as a Luce and Fulbright scholar: to raise Aigamo ducks in Japan, to research yak trade caravans in Sikkim, and to study rural women’s migration in Turkey. In particular, Turkey - with its fish hung like laundry from windows, its 9,000 species of flowers, and its delicious honey - continues to lure Cat back to its borders. Cat’s love for Turkey, the mountains, agriculture, and women’s leadership blend together sweetly in her new venture Balyolu and her blog Inspired Beeing. You can most frequently find her jumping on a mountain, running from angry bees, cooking in villages, hitching on dirt roads, or joking with Turkcell about her internet woes. Cat is joined by her partner in crime Claire Bangser, artist, photographer, writer, and globe wanderer who believes in creative storytelling as a way to powerfully connect people across mental and physical borders. From working with small-scale women farmers in Mali, to documenting peoples' lives along a 2,000 mile bike tour in the US, she finds that every person (and bee) has an important story to tell and much wisdom to share (speaking of Wisdom, Claire just published her first book, Ride Somewhere Far. Check it out on our Link Roll). These days, you're most likely to find Claire upside down, yodeling from a mountaintop, making tragic mistakes in Turkish, or eating meat for Cat.

Posted on September 9, 2012, in Culture, History, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Was the oldest honey not the pots of honey found in Egypt in one of the Tombs, not sure though, but worth checking out…

    • Sorry manfly, but the oldest discovered honey is currently from Georgia… and there is definitely more where it came from… with wine discoveries going back even further and the incredible developments regional scientists are making with analyzing pollen, I am sure this kind of discover won’t be the last :). Thank you for checking in! We will be slowly adding updates from our journey as well as publishing some bigger articles about our work soon!

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