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Honey

  • j

I've recently been interested in honey, particularly in the incredible profusion of varieties and flavors there exist in different honeys from around the world. I still remember the odd and enticing flavor of the honey a friend brought back from Kenya many years ago. I have fond thoughts of the maquis-flavored honey I ate in Corsica. I recently picked up a chestnut honey from France that was dark and nutty and rich.... and so on and so forth.

So I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions on where I might pick up whatever varieties of interesting honey they’ve come across, whether bottled in an old soda bottle from a far-flung country, or sold in some high-end food boutique...

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  1. Oooooh! Definitely try the Leatherwood Honey from Tasmania...I get it at Grace's Marketplace in Manhattan....

    1. Try lavender honey- it is devine! Also, sourwood. A neat resource is the "Honey Locator" http://www.honeylocator.com/ You can search by flower source, state or country and they give you a hyperlink to a source.

      1. Blue Ribbon Bakery in GV is probably the first place to go. They have a honey bar with tastings.

        But it's also just hitting the gourmet stores for different brands, I think. I bought an Italian honey that I used to get in Rome at Dom's in Soho and yesterday I got a Javanese mango flower honey from Fairway. Zabar's has a domestic producer assortment. NYers are lucky to have so many to choose from.

        1. Kalustayan has a pretty good selection of honeys. They are on Lexington Ave around 32d St.

          1. Attiki honey from Greece, readily available in mediterranean and middle eastern markets and some supermarkets.

            1. My favorite honey is Scottish Heather Honey. That, sea salt and a slug of Langavulin in McCann's oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts (thanks, Nigel Slater.)

              The honey has this nice peaty flavor. The only time I've seen it in New York is when it's sold in this overpriced Fortnum and Mason honey set (the heather honey is sold together with two jars of more pedestrian honey) at Saks Fifth Avenue, but you can also order heather honey from Zingerman's website.

              1. Murray's Cheese will be doing a class later this summer on Cheese & oney pairings. You may find it interesting. Go to their website for more info - www.murrayscheese.com.

                1. I liked the lime honey from Italy I bought from Dean & Deluca. It's very tangy, limey, almost refreshing honey that you could sweeten up your iced tea. It's versatile in savory foods as well, giving it a tangy, sweet and sour kick.

                  1. For local flavor Amy Ruth's on 116th sells honey from bees on their roof.

                    1. the gourmet market on Austin St at Ascan Ave in Forest Hills has a really good selection of honeys.

                      1. Inspired by this thread, I went on a honey quest last week: picked up the Mexican Golden Reserve from Blue Ribbon, Tasmanian Leatherwood from Kalustayan's (possibly their last bottle?) and a Tupelo honey from the same. First two from Chow recs, the last because of the Van Morrison song by the same name. For pairing, a fresh ricotta and an aged Manchego from Fairway, as well as a fresh baguette from Blue Ribbon.

                        All three were quite distinct:

                        Golden Reserve I would pick as a good, all purpose honey. Nice, rounded flavour with a complex set of floral tones. My fave from the offerings at Blue Ribbon.

                        Tupelo had a fresh, almost 'green' taste in comparison - less sweet, and more tangy perhaps. My d.p. concocted an amazing vinaigrette with the Tupelo, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil, to pair with an herb-mesclun-strawberry salad. Delish. Tupelo has the virtue of never crystallizing (as all other honeys eventually will), so it's great for uses like this.

                        Leatherwood is like honey from another planet: next to the others, the flavours are smoky and heady, almost as if infused with a strong honeysuckle scent. Amazing with the Manchego cheese, or just with the bread, or even on its own. I could see it being great for cooking with meats (among many other uses I'm concocting for it... it's kindof like having a diva in the kitchen next to its other honey kin.)

                        Happy questing!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: peckish

                          Leatherwood is also available at Fairway (Harlem) and, AFAIR, Zabar's. It's one of my favorites, and it's a great honey to mix with Total/Fage Greek-style yogurt.

                        2. Dean and Deluca has a lot of interesting honeys that I've never seen elsewhere...wouln't even know where to begin..

                          1. try Hawaiin honey, it is really outstanding (lehua or winter honey). White, rich...If you like strong flavoured honey, pick buckwheat honey.

                            1. Trombley Apiaries honey is available at the Union Square Greenmarket on Fridays and Saturdays and is really excellent. Their honey is raw, unheated, unfiltered, and very good value--it's reasonable enough in price to use for recipes. They encourage you to taste before buying. They had raspberry rose several years ago (the bees determine what's available) and I picked up 10 lbs., some of which I gave as gifts and most of which I continue to hoard. :)

                              1. http://www.savannahbee.com/cgi-bin/co...

                                If you're not adverse to mail order honey, this company has been on my radar for years. Their honey is outstanding. One of their new products is a honey roasted coffee. You must try this!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: HillJ

                                  I'm so not averse to mail order honey that I have quite a bit enroute from an upstate apiary even as I post; if anyone's interested, I'll be happy to post my impressions. And I'm aware of Savannah although I loathe coffee and its flavor, although I love the way it smells (thanks for the suggestion, though). I should mention that Really Raw used to list monofloral varietals on their site although I don't know if they still do. They're the ones who really introduced me to raw (I won't buy anything else now) and they have a unique way of cooling their honey that results in an unusually smooth product when it crystallizes. I'm still hoarding some bamboo and purple loosestrife that I bought some years back that were out of this world.

                                  Savannah's black sage and Winter White both looked interesting; I can get their other varietals elsewhere. One thing that bothers me about their site is that although it mentions that their honey is raw, it doesn't state "unheated." It's apparently legal to heat honey to a certain temperature in order to bottle it and still label it "raw." I always look for "unheated" on my honey labels.