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Where to buy Honey (MSP)

A couple of weekends ago I was at Bar Lurcat (I love those mini-donuts!) and ordered the cheese plate. It came with 4 different spreads one of them honey. It was delicious - an experience. The waiter didn't know what it was (nor was he able to distinguish cows milk cheeses from sheep's or goat's milk but thats for another thread). I realized that although I have been buying what I though was decent honey (that doesn't come in a bear shape), my honey and that in Lurcat should not be even mentioned in the same paragraph.

So I am wondering if anyone has advice about places to buy honey and possibly brands or key words I should be looking for. Hopefully there are honey enthusiasts out there that can enlighten me.

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  1. All you need to know, in two words: Ames Farm!

    They're purveyors of single-source honey. They're at the Midtown Global Market on weekends, and can tell you more about honey than you've ever imagined there is to know. (You can get their stuff in some stores, but if you want to learn about honey, they're as expert as they come.)

    You can start learning on their website: http://www.amesfarm.com

    Or, Dara Moskowitz wrote about them a couple of years ago: http://citypages.com/databank/25/1248...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Danny

      Honey and goat cheese is one of life's great pleasures!

      Ditto on Ames Farm. I'm currently licking out the bottom of a jar of their alfalfa honey. Yum! Dara mentioned another Ames Farm honey in her review of Chambers: Jewelweed honey. Sounds like a must, if you can find it.


      If you're looking for imported or flavored honey, try Surdyk's, the Wedge, or some other fancy grocery store. Or flavor your own (for example, with some dried lavender or rosemary).

      And next summer, be sure to go to the Bee & Honey exhibit at the MN State Fair to sample the different types of honey. You'll be amazed at the difference between buckwheat honey and clover honey.

      [EDITED TO ADD] If you can find raw honey, go for it! Most commercial honey is heated/pasturized, but purists like me prefer the taste of unheated honey. (And remember, NEVER feed honey to a baby or toddler - their immune systems can't handle it.



      1. re: AnneInMpls

        Yes, Anne has a good point. Botulism is the problem with little kids and honey.

        I will sing the praises of buckwheat honey to hell and back. It's my State Fair must-buy (Ames at the farmers' market, also - great stuff), and deep in flavor. I urge you to try some.

        You know when whiskey drinkers talk about peat in the flavor? Buckwheat honey has that same sort(not whiskey-ish, mind you!) of earthy taste.

    2. I agree with Danny. Ames Farm is the way to go. If you can't make it to MGMkt on the weekends (or to the Minneapolis Farmers Market when it's open), Ames Farm is available at the Wedge (and, I believe, Lunds, Kowalskis and Whole Foods).

      1 Reply
      1. re: bob s

        talked to David from Ames farm yesterday & i don't believe they do business with lunds anymore-- i could have misinterpreted his comment, tho. ames is at mill city farmers market in the summer, and i believe they may be at let's cook cooking store/school on east hennepin once each month until the market opens again with some of the other market vendors-- call let's cook to find out if that is happening. if you can get your hands on it, ames has a honey that is exclusively from the flowers of melon fields-- intoxicating, lingering perfumed melony sweetness that is absolutely to. die. for.

      2. The jewelweed and the boneset are both fab! You can also get them at the various farmer's markets in town during the summer, both under 94 and at the Guthrie.

        1. By the way, a bear-shaped squeeze bottle isn't necessarily a bad thing. Beekeepers can buy them by the caseload, if they want, so you'll sometimes see local and farm-stand honey packaged in a bear bottle.

          Me, I keep a few around to put my fancy honey in - I love those bears!


          1. And, at the Ames Farm booth at Midtown Global Market, they will let you try all the different varietals so that you can make an informed purchase. It's really amazing how different they all are.

            1. The best reason to go to the Mid Global Mkt to buy the honey is that you get to try all the flavors you want. So unless you're sure, don't go to the grocery, go to the Market.

              1. Thank you everybody for your help. I went to the MGM today and tried pretty much every honey they had. The seller was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I ended up buying the Birdsfoot Trefoil and it is delicious. Thanks again.

                Ps. I would still love to know what honey they have at Lurcat in case someone runs into a more helpful waiter.

                1 Reply
                1. re: uptowner

                  You could try calling the restaurant and asking.

                2. If you are ever at Jungle Jim's near Cincinnati, he has a large display of honey organized by state of origin.

                  1. Obviously not possible this time of year, but the NE Farmers Market, MPLS Farmers Market, and STPL Farmers Market have multiple purveyors (including Ames as noted). The Great Minnesota Get Together has blue ribbon honeys but I've never figured out how to buy the winners. You'd think they would have an auction for those goods.

                    Your local Coop and gourmet store will have single source honey as well. I know Eastside Coop, the Wedge (as mentioned) and Surdyks all have a few.

                    And I must second the bliss that is goat cheese and honey. Bucheron or Humboldt Fog with honey on a honey crisp is only inches from heaven.

                    1. All this talk of Ames Farm honey inspired me to get off my duff last weekend and visit them at the Midtown Global Market. I tasted all the honeys and bought a bunch for gifts - the August Melon honey is sure to be a huge hit. They were out of jewelweed, but had plenty of boneset.

                      And I couldn't resist a jar for myself - I picked the Autumnal Buckwheat honey. It tastes like cappuccino with a hint of molasses. Yum!