Monday, July 6, 2009

Sweet and sticky

When it comes to honey appreciation, I am a late bloomer. Sure, I've always liked the taste of honey. But I never realized how many varieties there are, or that even the simple clover honey could actually taste of clover when not mass produced.

When I was in Turkey a few months ago, I had my first encounter with honey comb. There it lay in a beautiful golden 8x11 block, next to the many jam varieties. I was clueless as to what I was to do with it. My breakfast companion told me to put a little bit in my mouth and chew it like gum while extracting the honey. The instant I started chewing the taste of clover filled my mouth. Transporting me back to my childhood when we would sometimes suck on the purple clover flowers in the fields. Never had I tried honey that actually tasted of it's source. It was summer trapped in the sticky combs.

Last week, Honey Ridge Farms came and gave a honey tasting at Family Circle (where I am currently interning) and took honey to a whole other level. Not only do they boast a delicious and wonderful array of products ranging from pumpkin blossom to spiced honey cream and my favorite: honey balsamic vinegar (which goes great over a salad mixed with radicchio, romaine, blue cheese and pine nuts.)

Honey Ridge and Molly Fowler prepared for us a small feast including cocktails made with honey, a mixed green salad with balsamic honey dressing, pork tenderloin with balsamic honey sauce and strawberries, and berry cream tiramisu. The food items showcased the versatility of honey.

No longer will honey be relegated to my Greek yogurt or drizzled on top of an English muffins. With all these varieties available, honey will find a more prominent place in my cupboard. Who needs high fructose corn syrup when nature has perfected it's own natural sweetener.

Spicy Sanguine Sling
Molly Fowler, Dinning Diva on behalf of Honey Ridge Farms
1 1-2 oz vodka
1 Tbsp Grand Marnier
2 oz blood orange juice
1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 -1/2 Tbsp spiced honey

Shake all ingredients on ice and strain over crushed ice in a high ball glass.

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