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Oct 12, 2009 05:29 PM

Honeys from around the world--share your favorites!

Some of you may know that I was fortunate enough to travel to Cameroon last month (for work). I had some wonderful food experiences (which you can read about on this thread:

But one of the true delights was a honey from the village of Bassafem (sp?), between Dschang and Yaoundé. It was deep and darkly colored, very complex in flavor with a taste of deep, dark caramel and chocolate, among other things. Since honeys by nature are such a delicious expression of the local biogeography, I only ever buy local OR regionally identifiable honeys (e.g. honeys from Indiana, from Pennsylvania when I visit my parents, sourwood honey at the local cookware shop). While I don't know what plants those Cameroonian bees were using, I do know that I am glad to have had the foresight to bring back a 4-lb, VERY WELL TAPED SHUT bottle of that honey. This also got me to thinking about what other honeys I should try or at least learn about from others. So, share with me tales of the wonderful honeys you have eaten and where they come and (if you know) the plants involved.

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  1. I've been doing the same thing: bringing back local honeys from places I travel. So far my favorite is coffee blossom honey I bought at a farmers' market in Kauai. It's very dark, almost molasses, and has a very faint coffee flavor. I haven't opened the honey I just brought back from Argentina, but in appearance it's just the opposite: pale gold.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      I have a cousin that's a beekeeper on Kauai and he ages his honey for years and it turns dark and molasses-like. Is the honey you have from there aged?

    2. When I lived in Mexico D.F., my ladyfriend had a weekend home in Michoacan. She could cook. There was a tall, 50 cm, rectangular galvanized can, with a round lid, that was her honey (miel), on the kitchen floor. A day would not pass without miel as an ingredient in at least one meal. Michoacan and Queretaro have 100 foot eucalyptus trees and delicate orchids and a million plants in between, so the honey was a symphony of everything one could see.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Veggo

        Now I'm even more sorry that I did not visit the town known for its honey production the last time that I was in the Yucatan. It's between Campeche and Merida and now I can't remember why we decided not to go. Jipijapas made nearby, too.

      2. I love the idea of collecting local honeys as a souvenir--I may have to adopt that. Your Kauai honey sounds divine! I'll be waiting to hear what you think of the Argentinean honey as well. I just had a piece of Valdeon blue cheese with a drizzle of my Cameroonian honey. MMMMMMMMMM!

        And Veggo, love the descripition of honey as "a symphony of everything one could see". Is honey a much used ingredient in Michoocan? I confess to no knowing as much about Mexican cuisine as I should!

        1. From the coffee growing area in highland Chiapas, Mexico
          From the coffee growing area in highland Cajamarca, Peru

          1. I'm also a honey collector.
            my all time favourite was one I found in Western Ontario in 1978 - a Buckwheat honey. I brought it back to England and savoured every last mouthful. Other buckwheat honeys have never compared to this one.

            4 Replies
            1. re: smartie

              Try a buckwheat honey from the high mountains of Bhutan!

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Thanks for the tip, Sam. I'll pick up a case on my next trip to my neighborhood Bhutan-R-Us megastore.

                1. re: Veggo

                  Picture the steep mountain sides over deep river valleys as dark green interspersed with beautiful, thin, irregulary shaped terraced areas, mid-season for rice at about panicle initiation and when the rice plants are light green and the mustard and buckwheat fields are filled with small yellow and white flowers, respectively.

                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    Sounds idyllic, wish I were there. My view at this moment is of my neighbor's garbage cans on the curb. I'm guessing some of the mountainous regions in Mexico that I picture so vividly are not dissimilar.There is an interesting chapter in 'Outliers" about rice growing, BTW. Not new to you, but to me and others. Some parts of the world that are isolated do pretty well for themselves. World class honey is but one example.