What is varietal honey, you ask?
Varietal honey is just like varietal wine - honey made from a single kind of nectar. For example, cranberry honey is made from the nectar from cranberry flowers. Bees will get on a type of flower and work it until it is exhausted (the flower not the bee). A beekeeper will put on a fresh honey super at the beginning of a flower flow and take it off when the flowering ends. That is a varietal honey.
What is so special about it?
Varietal honey has strong notes of a single flower - but it is rarely that simple. The flavors are normally highly complex and will echo the flower, the sun and the season of collection.
If you want to check out some varietal honey, I am leading a honey tasting at the Millbury Public Library on October 25. There are still some spaces available. Here are the details:
October 25, 2011
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Millbury Public Library
Register by calling 508 865 1181.
Goodies will be sent home with participants!