Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Oh Honey!

Recently, Nic at bakingsheet hosted Sugar High Friday, with the featured ingredient of honey.

I didn't even dream of being ready for this, but when I read Niki's entry yesterday, it reminded me that I had a new jar of honey sitting in the cupboard (that makes me sound like Winnie the Pooh, doesn't it?)

Now this is a bigger occasion than it sounds - I haven't had honey in the house for a long time - I threw the last dregs of a squeeze bottle out a couple of years ago and as it's recommended that babies not be given honey, I haven't bothered to replace it. The other day Figman said "Look, I think I can handle a good dose of botulism - get me some more honey" and off I went on a honey hunt. Well not far actually, there is a stand at the Prahran Markets which specialises in honey and I found a jar of Clover Honey from New Zealand, made by the good folks at Honeyland. The girl behind the counter could not have been more ensnared by her phone call and less interested in serving customers but I noticed that they have tasting jars, so maybe I'll go back and do a full tasting another time.

This morning, I was out of raspberry jam at breakfast time and inspired by Barbara, I thought, "what about honey and yoghurt?" A few scoops of creamy yoghurt with clover honey drizzled over it. I licked the fork. The taste hit me like a smack in the face! This was no pale lacklustre supermarket squeeze-honey. This is full flavoured, with a rich depth that simply blew me away. The tiny amount almost overpowered the tang of the plain yoghurt but I can see that it would be wonderful in a honey ice cream. The flavour would also enchance a savoury dish with its strength and not its sweetness.

After watching Brit chefs Rick Stein and Nick Nairn rave about heather honey I have been scheming about how to get some here, but I may stop - this is all the honey I need for now.


At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Barbara said...

The clover honey is great with savoury dishes. Donna Hay has a recipe in one of her books I make often since I discovered it when staying at a friends place in Queensland recently.
Roast some parsnips ( I add carrots and kumara)for about 40 mins, then place a couple of pork fillets covered with grain mustard on top of vegies and bake a further 20 mins then drizzle a couple of spoons of honey over the top and bake another 10 minutes.

At 4:45 PM, Anonymous joey said...

I know what you mean...I am hardly into one jar of honey when I start dreaming of the other varieties out there waiting for my tasting. Right now I have a jar of Agrimontana chestnut honey from the Alps of Piedmont. It has quite a strong flavor but I like it...especially with yogurt or with cheese. You can check out their stuff here: www.agrimontana.it.

At 5:54 PM, Blogger Niki said...

I'm with you; I never realised that bog standard supermarket honey was mediocre until I tasted some from small producers. I've become a real fan of Leatherwood honey; it has a really woody, herbal taste which could be too much for those with more delicate palates, but for me who finds supermarket honey faaaar too sweet and sugary, it's just perfect. Unfortunately good honey can get expensive...


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