an aside

For the first in a long time, I have been inspired by something I read to make a purchase. Thus the presence of this post, about a food item, on my book blog!

It was from reading Honeybee, which first sparked my interest in local, or monofloral honey. So for the first time ever, I have bought some special honeys, and they do have very different flavors.

The first one I got was an orange-blossom honey from the local supermarket, Wegman\’s. It has a light amber color like clover honey (which is all I\’m used to eating in regards to honey) and tastes a lot similar. It has a definite, sharp citrusy zing, kind of as if the honey had orange zest in it. And a nice tingly aftertaste that seems to linger in the roof of my mouth.

Then just a few days ago we went to a local produce stand at an Amish farm we like to visit, but only go two or three times a season because it\’s quite a bit of distance from us (at least a twenty-minute drive). I usually get eager about their homemade jams and sauces, but this time noticed there was a shelf full of monofloral honey! I got all excited when I saw the tupelo honey, which I read about in Robbing the Bees, and had a hard time deciding which other type to try. They had starthistle honey, blackberry, apple blossom and many others I can\’t remember now. I was intrigued by the avocado one so we got that.

You can see the difference in the colors here. The Tupelo honey is amber too, a bit darker than orange blossom. The avocado honey has a rich, dark almost red-tinted color. We tried just a bit smeared on crackers to compare the flavors.

The tupelo honey is very sweet and astringent. Its flavor reminds me of something else but I haven\’t been able to put my finger on it. The avocado honey has an incredibly rich, heavy flavor like molasses. It left the longest aftertaste on my tongue. I can\’t decide which I like best and have to figure out some special cooking or food combinations to do with these. They are a bit pricey- the tupelo jar cost $10, the others about $6 each, but we are going to savor them. I don\’t know if they\’re exactly local- I think tupelo trees only grow in Florida, for example- but I know our farmer\’s market has honey produced by local hives. Next change I get, I want to try some of theirs, too.

3 Responses

  1. Mm, looks yummy! I haven't been a big fan of honey historically but I'd like to be. I'd like to get delicious local honey at the farmers' market near me, and make something delicious with it.

  2. I love honey, but it's only in the last couple of years that I have really started to appreciate the varieties. I'm trying to think of what we have at home right now, something dark, buckwheat maybe.

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