The Honey Mutual Basic Society of Agricultural Services (SMSA) Ennjah of Beni Khedache won the Best Honey Award, in the category of honeys and cheeses, at the first competition of local products of Tunisia 2017. It is to wonder what is his secret? Why this one and not another? Would this eucalyptus honey be imbued with the beauty of “Kssours”? This superb area of mountain oasis between the Jebel Dahar and the Grand Erg Oriental, 30 km from Medenine and over a hundred kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea and Djerba would give it a taste of more ? Amel DJAIT

Flanked by such a price, it is undeniable that this honey is delicate and precious. Moreover, how can it not be if we learn that the eucalyptus where the bees are foraging are trees irrigated by “jessours” which are bunds built in the “wadis” to retain water runoff in an arid zone where every drop of water is born the miracle of life. The “jessours” are in fact a traditional hydraulic system which tends to disappear although it is the object of some efforts of rehabilitation.

If the region is known for its agricultural plains and its exceptional “mahchis”, its many underground mosques are still well kept secrets ….

Here, it is undeniably the reign of “kssar”. There are nearly 150 in the south-east of Tunisia, some of which are spread over several levels and can reach fifteen meters. Currently, major attempts to list 29 “kssours” for the UNESCO World Heritage List are under way. Major efforts by civil society and many economic operators in the region are also mobilizing to build a model of solidarity and sustainable tourism.

It is in this effort that the SMSA Enajjah, which won the Excellence Award of the 1st Local Produce Competition for its Eucalyptus honey, is registered.

When we talk with the President of this organization, Mr Mabrouk Saadaoui, the reasons for the success, he answers confident and not without smile: “Our honey is exceptional. Even if we had participated with thyme honey  or all flowers, we would have won! Honey a passion that brings us together. Of the 300 SMSA farmers, we are 24 beekeepers working in honey. We exchange, follow closely our production and do not try to burn the stages. We carry out regular trainings … .In our case, nature is generous to the one who knows how to respect and listen to it and it is perhaps that our honey is different. “

Delighted, the SMSA beekeepers feel stronger and motivated. The reputation of the competition has an immediate impact. Eucalyptus honey, which was sold at 40T / kg, rose to 60Tt per kilogram.

Mr Saadaoui adds: “Our SMSA beekeeping training courses are very well attended. We have done internships in France and now we require our members a minimum number of hives and many more commitments.

Tasty and menthol, with respiratory virtues, eucalyptus honey is monofloral. It bears the name of the tree on which it is collected. Often recommended to treat various health problems, it helps to calm coughs, to relieve certain gastric problems, to relieve hot flashes and palpitations in the menopausal woman ….

I leave Mr Saadaoui thinking about what would be the famous “mahchi” of Ghomrassen, a neighboring village, with a honey of this quality! But this is a different story.