Thursday, September 5, 2013

Honey Terrior

Eating most honey is just plain yummy but my mission is to turn you into honey connoisseurs!

Honey, like wine, has terrior.  There are lots of formal definitions of this but really they mean it has a sense of place. Honey also tastes like a terrior at a specific time too. Stick with me here. Different wild flower honeys taste different depending on where they were made but also when.

Spring honey is always the lightest of the year no matter where you harvest in the northern hemisphere.  Fall honey is the darkest.

Here's how you can taste honey.  Put a small amount in your mouth - half a teaspoon or so. Roll it around in your mouth so it reaches your body temperature. Slowly, slowly swallow it. Breath in through your nose and out your mouth.

Spring or summer wildflower honey is the one you want for toast or in tea. Try it drizzled over goat cheese or fruit. Generally this honey is floral and sweet. Our honey also has a strong after taste of Black Locust.

Fall wild flower honey is darker and bolder. This is the honey you to bake with as its assertive flavor will stand up to other flavors. Try this in apple pie or in a honey cake. Our fall honey has a strong maple like flavor and an earthy finish.

Varietal honey is honey that is made from a single type of flower like Orange Blossom or Blueberry. This is challenging to make as a beekeeper and often commands higher prices as well. Aside from taste, some varietal honeys will crystallize at different rates and may have different antibacterial properties.

If you are interested in a formal honey tasting, let me know. I have led them at the Millbury Public Library in the past. If you are not local to me, I would recommend Red Bee. Marina sells a mini honey tasting kit.

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