Oct 18, 2011

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.


bermudaonion said...

I've never tried different honeys but you've made me want to.

Jenny said...

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.

Anonymous said...

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.