The land and climate of Sardinia are perfect for the cultivation of many Mediterranean species of plants and trees. It is most likely that the first citrus trees were brought by Saracen raiders/traders and they produced in abundance. Since then citrus fruit has been a staple of the Sardinian kitchen. Today, the island is still known for its citrus trees, cultivated and wild. As with Southern Italy, Sicily, and parts of Spain, large numbers of citrus trees are a boon to beekeepers since the blossoms are used by their bees to produce some of the most fragrant, flavorful honeys in the world. The pristine nature of the rugged countryside around Monte Limbara in Sardinia's northern-most province of Sassari - the air, the water, the land - makes this honey about as wholesome as it can get - and I haven't even begun to talk about the flavor.
The famed artisan confectioner Rau from the town of Berchidda deals directly with local beekeepers who produce some of the most flavorful honeys we've ever tasted. He buys their honey in its pristine state and packages it for sale in Sardinia, Italy and now here in the USA. Rau's most astounding offering is his Miele di Agrumi, citrus honey. The bees pollinate on the local lemon, orange and other citrus trees, both cultivated and wild, and the result is a little bit of heaven. The aroma jumps out of the jar of this golden/white honey, and it gets even better once you stick your finger in the jar and transfer a bit to your mouth - depending on the temperature it can be pourable or spreadable. The flavor expands rapidly on the palate from a delicate floral opening, and it seems to build and build with a combination of citrus notes, leaning to the side of lemon. It finishes with a nice tang of acidity that keeps the sweetness well in check. This is one of the best citrus honeys we've ever tasted from Europe.
The first tourists that visited Sardinia and discovered its beauty at a time when tourism had not yet become a mass phenomenon, tasted the most genuine and best of Sardinian agricultural and food products. Rau was already there, its name and state from the very start associated with the magical moments spent in this generous wild land of Sardinia. The success of Rau products, however, was not accidental but the fruit of the experience of master confectioners, who for three generations have chosen the best materials to make Sardinian confectionery art.
Rau's main secret is marvelous nature with its profusion of unique fragrances that render the work of Berchidda master confectioners easy. Myrtle, prickly pears, almonds, hazel nuts, chestnuts, citrus fruits, grapes, fresh fruits and honey all come from the delicate, perfect biological balance of the Sardinian natural habitat, guaranteed by an unpolluted environment, certified by the wind that redresses the balance each time.