Tuesday, 3 May 2011

to bee or not to bee

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best -- " and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.
  -- Winnie the Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner

Photo:  (left) Swamp Honey; (right) Olds' Honey

Did you know:
  1. One teaspoon of honey represents the life work of one bee
  2. Honeybees never sleep
  3. A bee flies at 15 mph
  4. If too much honey is raided from a hive, the bees become demoralised and die
  5. Bees collect nectar from 50-100 flowers during a single trip 

My Olds have hives.  I don’t mean itchy hives – I mean BEE hives!  Also my sister and brother-in-law have a hive.  So in our family we have honey laid on.  What’s quite striking is the difference in taste between the honeys from the Olds – which is your backyard, garden variety honey; and what has become known as ‘Swamp Honey’ from a different location where my sister lives, where the flowers are predominantly from Melaleuca (Paperbark) trees.

Here is what the expert tasters say:
Expert Taster
Swamp Honey
Olds’ Garden Honey

Cardinal Cyn
A stronger flavoured, full bodied honey.  Would appeal to the more discerning honey eater.
Light in flavour.  Short on the tongue.  Would appeal to a broader audience – kids would prefer it.

Much darker in colour.  A depth in colour which translates to taste.  A much stronger flavour that lingers longer on the palette.
Light in colour and taste.  A hit of sweetness that soon dissipates.

Lately my favourite recipe is Tagine Chicken with Dates & Honey.  It's a fantastic blend of flavours.  I like honey in black tea, on crumpets or croissants, and in some beef dishes.  Oh, and with Jamie's chicken skewers with satay sauce and drizzled honey.  

It's versatile, and a 'must have' in anyone's pantry.  Yum.  Comments anyone?

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