Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Initially, honey, berries, and other fruits were the main sources of sweetness in sub-Saharan Africa. See honey. The honeybee likely originated in Africa, and honey has always been prized; it is used medicinally as well as for food. In many places honey is still a part of the bride price a man provides to his future in-laws. Besides being consumed raw, honey is used to coat fruit and nuts and as the base for drinks such as Ethiopia’s alcoholic tej or nonalcoholic birz. It is also added to beverages and made into candy.