SOURCE: National Honey Board

January 23, 2008 09:00 ET

Carnival Celebrates the Pleasures of Life With Honey

Celebrations in Latin America and Europe Include Honey-Based Dishes That Are Enjoyed Everywhere During One of the Greatest Celebrations of the Year

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - January 23, 2008) - This year, the first week of February marks the start of Carnival and the beginning of lively parties, dancing and music in the streets. The celebration culminates on Tuesday, February 5th, a day before the start of Lent with Ash Wednesday. Carnival festivities take place across Latin America and a great part of Europe. In time for the occasion, the National Honey Board recreates a few of the honey-based dishes that help keep the millions of celebrants full of energy during one of the liveliest and most extravagant days of the year.

Catholic tradition dictates that during Lent, which lasts 40 days, all type of bodily pleasures are forbidden. This religious custom inspired the celebration of Carnaval many centuries ago. Carnival comes from Carnevale, of Latin origin. Carnem means flesh, whereas Levare implies "to leave": to leave the flesh and the pleasures in all its forms to enter a time of fasting and meditation.

Today, the essence of Carnival remains unchanged: a time of enjoying worldly pleasures before abstinence. And pleasure includes the satisfaction of the taste buds. Many of the delicacies typical of Carnival are honey-based recipes which the National Honey Board recreates for the festivities.

Jami Yanoski, Marketing Manager of the National Honey Board, adds, "Carnaval is a time to indulge in pleasures. It's very interesting to learn that many of the dishes that people enjoy in street celebrations during this time use honey as one of the main ingredients."

While celebrating Carnival Cuba indulges in Plátanos en Tentación, Colombia dances cumbia between bites of cocadas (coconut and honey sweet) while Mexico recovers with a delicious Tostadas de Camarón con Miel y Menta. (Shrimp Tostada with Honey and Mint). Further south, the cariocas relief themselves from the heat and humidity of Rio de Janeiro with a refreshing Caipirinha. While in Cadiz, Spain, the gaditanos delight themselves with the classic Ensalada de Queso y Miel (Cheese and Honey Salad).

These and other recipes can be found on www.mielpura.org.

About the National Honey Board (NHB)

Funded by the honey industry and operating under USDA oversight, the National Honey Board is a research and promotion Board dedicated to increasing the demand for honey and honey products in the marketplace.

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