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What's your favorite variety of honey?


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#1 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 08:58 PM

Guardian UK article on new honey

The cosy-sounding world of honey - redolent of toasted crumpets and jars with flowery labels in country shops - has been going through turbulent times..... another phenomenon has been adding to the turbulence in the global honey market - ultrafiltered or "UF" honey. First noticed in the US, it is honey with almost everything taken out, including the impurities. .... In a test by the board earlier this year, nine out of 69 samples taken from American supermarket shelves proved to be UF honey. Instead it is "a sweetener derived from honey" - honey that has been diluted with gallons of water, heated up to a high temperature, passed through an ultra-fine ceramic or carbon filter, and then evaporated down to a syrup again. America's believes that UF, rather than contaminated honey, is now the real threat to the purity of honey internationally.


So, the world has more problems that we have yet to fret over and now it is about the honeys .. but, never you mind, this is about a simple, very sweet, sticky issue: what is your favorite type of honey? and what do you use it for? or use it as an ingredient for making? :rolleyes:

Personally enjoy clover and orange blossom honeys ... and you??
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#2 gingerly

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 10:02 PM

Brodie represented small-time honey laundering

:laugh:
clover and orange blossom too!also a wonderful lotus honey from kashmir-not had any in a while.i cooked and ate my way through 'the pooh cook book'-i luv hunny! :rolleyes:

#3 beans

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 10:24 PM

I used to treat myself whenever I was in Seattle and walked through Pike Place (aside from a Nordies bauble or two). There is at least one vendor that sells honey. I always bought the one that was gathered from raspberry blossoms. I could, and have, eaten straight from the jar with one of my small espresso spoons. (Why did I only purchase small jars??!?)

I often purchase lavender honey, which I often use in creating some lovely desserts and am on the hunt for acacia honey for a spectacular cocktail that is made at Lab bar in London.

Honey for my tea? Usually clover.

I love bees. :wub:

God bless them!

#4 FL Heat

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 05:25 AM

Orange blossom, generally. . .and once, while driving through Georgia, we picked up some peach blossom honey. On a biscuit, that stuff was heavenly. I love the orange blossom honey in a vinaigrette over any salad with fruit in it. I'm not quite up to pastry making or baking fancy things yet, though, so I don't use it in actual recipes much.

While on a business trip in Philadelphia several months ago I made a trip to the Reading Terminal Market and had to be dragged away from the stand with all the honeys & preserves. If only they weren't so heavy & my bag hadn't already been close to the airline's weight limit. . . .

Diana

#5 petite tête de chou

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 05:40 AM

Fireweed and orange blossom honey are preferred for drizzling on warm, fluffy biscuits. Alfalfa, clover and Columbia Gorge wildflower honeys for my tea. As a child I loved honeycomb. mmmm, chewy honey-wax! :biggrin:
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#6 emannths

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 08:06 AM

Tupelo honey from Florida, on a piece of homemade cornbread. :biggrin:

#7 browniebaker

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 08:50 AM

Desert mesquite honey, dark and flavorful.

#8 hjshorter

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 10:48 AM

Tupelo, buckwheat, and local wildflower honey. Best drizzled over hot cornbread or fluffy biscuits. My kids eat buckwheat honey on their oatmeal.
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#9 Okbrewer

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 12:40 PM

I buy gallons and gallons of honey, usually clover or wildflower honey because that's what is common around OK. But I use honey to make one of the oldest of fermented beverages: MEAD! Depending on the type of mead I'm making, clover honey works just fine. It is light in color and flavor and allows any spices or fruits that I might add to the mead to shine through. If I make a traditional mead or show mead (no spice or fruit) then I look for varietal honeys like Tupelo, orange blossom, mesquite, etc. because I want the honey component to be readily apparent. So, my favorite? It just depends! I guess I'd have to say clover or wildflower since it is readily available and I use those the most.
Bob R in OKC
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#10 Susan G

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 12:48 PM

Buckwheat honey for toast. Haven't been able to find any in my southwest state.........I order it online from NY.
I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

#11 beans

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 12:51 PM

I buy gallons and gallons of honey, usually clover or wildflower honey because that's what is common around OK. But I use honey to make one of the oldest of fermented beverages: MEAD! Depending on the type of mead I'm making, clover honey works just fine. It is light in color and flavor and allows any spices or fruits that I might add to the mead to shine through. If I make a traditional mead or show mead (no spice or fruit) then I look for varietal honeys like Tupelo, orange blossom, mesquite, etc. because I want the honey component to be readily apparent. So, my favorite? It just depends! I guess I'd have to say clover or wildflower since it is readily available and I use those the most.

That's sooo cool! I'd love to make mead one day!

#12 Okbrewer

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 01:04 PM

Mead is very easy to make. In it's basic form it is just water, honey and yeast. The hardest part of making mead is the patience needed to wait until it is finished! Mead can take a long time to not only ferment, but to finish or age. Usually takes about a year and being anywhere from 9-15% alcohol, it ages nicely in the bottle for many more years. Young meads can taste alright, but give them time to age and they are remarkable.
As a general rule of thumb, I use 3-4lbs of honey per gallon of water, so for a 3 gallon batch of mead I might use 12 lbs of honey (which is one gallon of honey) or more. Using the right type of yeast is also important. Depending on the amount of honey and type of yeast used, you can make a sweet or dry mead, sparkling or still mead, or various combinations. When you start adding herbs, spices and fruits or vegetables, then you can really create some unique flavors!
If you are at all interested in making mead, check out a book called The Compleat Meadmaker, written by my friend Ken Schramm. It is available on Amazon.com.

Sorry to usurp the thread here, but if anyone is interested in mead making, drop me a line!
Bob R in OKC
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#13 Ovenfrenzy

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 02:14 PM

Oh I love honey- I love the tastes, the varieties, the many intersting ways of packaging it. Tupelo honey from Mississippi, sourwood honey from Tennessee, orange blossom from Florida- I usually have some of each around in the pantry. The best I've had was some Italian "million wild flower" variety I got in Berkeley on vacation- it was $12 for a pint but so perfect on my English muffins for breakfast. Clover honey is good for cooking and I use it to make Mollie Katzen's chocolate honeycake. We also use clover honey in our cyser(cidar/mead blend).

#14 Squeat Mungry

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 02:25 PM

The honey bee is the State Insect of my home state of North Carolina! My favorite is sourwood honey -- great on biscuits with fresh butter!

Cheers,

Squeat

#15 fifi

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 02:28 PM

When I was a kid, my dad kept bees as a hobby. We lived in a family "compound" on the bayou so there was plenty of woodsey and meadowy space for them to forage. (That was before Houston was a "big city".) It was fun to see how the honey changed with the seasons. I don't remember what the source was, if we ever knew, but we did get some that was really dark one time. It was wonderful and I still remember the taste. The house smelled like Pooh Bear's kitchen when we had the big pots going to melt and purify the beeswax "cappings". We sold the big disks of wax to some cosmetic company.

My current favorite is a wildflower honey that comes from the Alvin TX area. Oddly enough, I found it at Kroger. :wacko:
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#16 jschyun

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 02:28 PM

I often purchase lavender honey, which I often use in creating some lovely desserts and am on the hunt for acacia honey for a spectacular cocktail that is made at Lab bar in London.

I think you can find acacia honey at Persian markets. I see it here, but I live in the U.S.
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#17 tsquare

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 02:35 PM

I got a newsletter from ChefShop today - all about honey.
Unopened jar of chesnut honey in the pantry - need to get some figs and blue cheese...

#18 ruthcooks

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 03:20 PM

I have never liked honey, it's just too assertive and too sweet for me, whatever kind it is, without being mixed about 1 to 4 with soft butter for biscuits. And I'd still prefer any kind of fruit jam.

Once, however, I found a mild "Honey Jelly" in an airport shop and liked it very much. Now it's gone and the question is "which airport?" The odds are on Nashville, but I don't suppose I'll be flying there any more now that my son has moved.
Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

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#19 petite tête de chou

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 04:36 PM

When I was a kid, my dad kept bees as a hobby. We lived in a family "compound" on the bayou so there was plenty of woodsey and meadowy space for them to forage. (That was before Houston was a "big city".) It was fun to see how the honey changed with the seasons. I don't remember what the source was, if we ever knew, but we did get some that was really dark one time. It was wonderful and I still remember the taste. The house smelled like Pooh Bear's kitchen when we had the big pots going to melt and purify the beeswax "cappings". We sold the big disks of wax to some cosmetic company.

My current favorite is a wildflower honey that comes from the Alvin TX area. Oddly enough, I found it at Kroger. :wacko:

How lucky you were! :smile: I live in a smallish community in Oregon but not small enough for my neighbors and their children to be comfortable with a modest apiary.
I would adore 'raising' bees! I was never afraid of them as a child...but I will admit, it is AWFULLY sweet stuff for a lady without a sweet-tooth to speak of.
My Mother taught me to use honey as a skin 'refiner' after an herbal (comfrey-rose-mint-lavender) steam. And how wonderful it was to lick the melting honey mask from my lips! BTY- I finished with a whipped egg-white mask and tea..sweetened with honey, of course.
Shelley: Would you like some pie?
Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

#20 enrevanche

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 05:32 PM

Usually buy clover honey, though I love fruit blossom honeys (e.g. orange blossom) when I can get them.

I put it in tea, on toast and biscuits, and in oatmeal (for killer oatmeal, whip in one raw egg and a generous pour of honey after the oatmeal is cooked... the heat in the oatmeal cooks the egg; the honey adds both wonderful sweetness and texture.)

My grandmother used to let a generous chunk of butter get soft and then mix it with honey for spreading on hot bread.

There is allegedly a guy in NYC who lives near Central Park and operates a rooftop apiary, making "New York City Honey." I've been keeping an eye out for him at the local greenmarkets, but so far no luck.
enrevanche <http://enrevanche.blogspot.com>
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#21 fifi

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 06:22 PM

My Mother taught me to use honey as a skin 'refiner' after an herbal (comfrey-rose-mint-lavender) steam.

A family story that still gets told...

Dad was robbing the bees. We were inside the house capping the frames and I was turning the centrifuge. Mother and I both had our hands full when dad came to the door with about 50 pounds of "supers" (things the frames hang in). He is banging on the door to get someone to open it for him. Mother yells for my older sister and she doesn't come immediately. Dad is starting to turn the air blue. She finally wanders in with her face and hands dripping with honey. Dad explained to her, in terms that would not suit our gentle readers, why this was not a good time for a facial.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#22 Verjuice

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 06:34 PM

The taste of honey is one of very, very few I cannot stand. It just tastes like the smell of grimy kindergarten fingers to me- I have a hard time explaining it. Maple syrup, please, for my tea, or whipped with butter and spread on toast (I love how it soaks the toast whereas honey rests, well-behaved and amber-eyed, in tepid puddles), stirred into yogurt, added to marinades.

No. No honey. Well, unless it's white truffle honey. And I like chestnut honey in baked goods.

Anyone tried the white Hawaiian honey?

#23 beans

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 08:18 PM

Once, however, I found a mild "Honey Jelly" in an airport shop and liked it very much.

I have a recipe for Honey Lemon Jelly from well preserved: pickles, relishes, jams and chutneys for the new cook by Mary Anne Dragan.

Let me know if you'd like it and I'll paraphrase/post it. :smile:

#24 skyflyer3

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 10:36 PM

I love this french brand of honey from Chefshop called Huguel; their wild mountain honey is thick and viscous and perfect for tea. It smells a little sharp and acrid, but it's heaven. And the Acacia honey by the same brand is awesome on thickly buttered toast and english muffins, and scones and in yogurt with some mangoes and marmalade. It has a very sunny, mild flavor, very buttery. All the other honey flavors in this line are too strong for me, but these two rock.

I also have tried the amazingly expensive white hawaaian honey, which is great in texture - very thick and creamy, almost chewy - but the flavor is very subtle. Because the texture is so thick, it's hard to use but I like it on toast as well.

I got stuck on the Huguel honeys because of a generic brand of honey I had in france called Miel de Lune, that came in these little packets at this motel where we stayed. It was fabulous! Next time I go back there, I'm picking up a jar. Perfect in tea, on butter, anything. It has a well-balanced sweetness, and is a rich, thick gold, like Lyle's Golden Syrup. Really fantastic stuff.

#25 Ms Neato

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 10:40 PM

I don't eat a lot of honey, but manuka claims to have magical powers.

(Okay, maybe not magical powers; but certainly it seems to be a good anti-bacterial/make things heal better type of thing.)

#26 Suzanne F

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Posted 24 July 2004 - 10:45 AM

Okay, a heads-up for all the honeyphiles here: I am currently working on a book titled Robbing the Bees: a Biography of Honey, by Holley Bishop. Free Press (part of Simon & Schuster) is the publisher. Rarely have I worked on such an enjoyable, well-written, fact-filled book! All sorts of information about the history of bees, bee-keeping, honey production (by bees and humans), the use of bees in warfare . . . and I'm only a little more than halfway through it. The recipes included are both ancient and modern. I suppose it will be out sometime next spring.

I never thought much about the stuff before (other than finding that leatherwood is just too strong a flavor for my palate), but now I'm fascinated.

#27 ExtraMSG

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Posted 24 July 2004 - 09:31 PM

Despite Suzanne's disdain for the stuff, I really like keeping a tin of Tasmanian leatherwood honey on hand:

http://earthy.com/a_...c6190e3099caad9

Luckily, I have a couple local sources. I also buy a lot of honeys at farms and farmer markets and gourmet shops while I travel. I don't think it matters that much what type, but just to have a couple types in addition to your basic commercial clover honey.

#28 KatieLoeb

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Posted 24 July 2004 - 09:51 PM

I recently tasted a delicious artisinal honey made by a gentleman here in the Philadelphia suburbs (ironically his surname is Buzas) that was served on the side of a cheese plate I ordered at Tria. Delicious. Subtle, sweet, but not sickly-so as many more ordinary and supermarket examples tend to be.

My best honey story comes when I was driving around between Napa and Sonoma and saw a sign at the side of the road that said "Honey". We pulled down the long dirt driveway and found a table with jars of on-the-premise made honey and a coffee can that was completely on the honor system. It remains to this day, some of the most delicious honey I'd ever tasted.

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#29 Abra

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Posted 24 July 2004 - 10:03 PM

I love the dark, slightly bitter honeys. The French miel de sapin, which is a pine honey, and chestnut honey are my very favorites, but I like the Tasmanian leatherwood a lot too. Our local "garden variety" honey is blackberry, which is nice, although light and mild.

Whenever I travel I bring back honey, to remember places by. My cupboard is full of my honey stash - little bottles from everywhere.

#30 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 07 August 2004 - 02:14 PM

story from the Telegraph UK

A related story on honey has appeared only today .. it appears that there are not enough queen bees around nowadays ...

Already struggling to keep up with demand for their sweet, sticky product, Britain's bees are facing a new crisis – a shortage of queens ...each bee makes 60 flights to produce a thimble of honey. They literally work themselves to death, dying around six weeks after they have hatched, their wings tattered and torn by their efforts.  It is different for the queen, which lives for around three years. Her pheromones are strong enough to keep the colony (around 100,000 bees in the working season) together, but as her powers diminish, so does the loyalty of the workforce. "You can never raise enough queens early enough in the season, so we have them sent from Hawaii in April," says Chambers. This was until the EU banned the import of queens from the islands in December. "They included Hawaii as part of the US although it's 2,000 miles from the mainland."


This may only partially explain why the cost of honey has been rising ... :rolleyes:
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"