Oh Honey!

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“For bees, the flower is the fountain of life;

For flowers, the bee is the messenger of love.”

Kahlil Gibran

Sugar, Ahh Honey Honey!” (Remember that song? Am I showing my age?) Simply put, I love honey!  I’m the human version of Winnie the Pooh! Seriously, I should have been a bear! I’m not talking about that supermarket fake honey crap sold in clear plastic animals. (Wonder why it’s so cheap?) I’m talking about sweet, pure, sticky, gooey, just-harvested-from-the-local-bees honey. You know, the real liquid gold. Have you ever tasted honey that delectable?  If not, put it on your bucket list. (Just make sure it’s ahead of skydiving!)

I love tasting honey from all over the country (and the world). This golden goodness varies according to season and location because of the different plants and flowers. I visit farmer’s markets just to stalk meet the beekeepers (and of course to sample their delicious honey).  You must try some for yourself. Meet me at the beekeeper’s booth. I will be the one with my hand in the honey jar!

Of course, I am thrilled to celebrate National Honey Bee Day on August 16th and National Honey Month during September. But I honor honey bees everyday. Albert Einstein explained that, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” Bees pollinate most of our food, including fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. And of course, busy honey bees make sweet, golden honey. (Oh yeah, baby!)

Honey is truly a magical food. Filled with healing and nutritional properties, its culinary possibilities are endless.  This sweet nectar is also one of the world’s oldest ingredients.


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“The secret of my health is applying honey inside and oil outside.”

Democritus 

(A contemporary of Hippocrates, who lived to the ripe age of 109)

The history of honey is incredible. Spanish cave paintings dating back to 8000BC show the earliest records of beekeeping. European Kings and Queens made (Mead) wine from fermented honey. (Did someone say wine AND honey?! Hello!) Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans offered the “liquid gold” as a gift to the gods.  This food that has been around forever also lasts forever if stored properly. (It doesn’t last long at my house!)  With all its rich history, it is no wonder that honey is so healthful.

With many health benefits, this sweet food is also a natural antimicrobial – effective against viruses and bacteria. Such a powerful healer, the Romans even used honey to heal battle wounds! Honey soothes sore throats and is a natural cough remedy. Choose more nutritious darker honey like buckwheat, avocado, and wildflower, which also adds intensity to food.


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 “The only reason for being a bee that I know of is to make honey…

And the only reason for making honey, is so as I can eat it.”

Winnie the Pooh

My idol, Pooh Bear, couldn’t have said it better! Honey is found in kitchens worldwide. What’s more delicious than golden honey dripping from hot toast? Try drizzling it onto cheese. (Check out my post on gourmet cheese.) Use this gooey treat as a syrup.  You can even bake with it, replacing sugar.  Honey also adds flavor to my sauces, dressings and marinades. This sticky, thick liquid has so many unique and different flavors.  

(Song break! Click on link: Wild Mountain Honey– The Steve Miller Band)

Speaking of Wild Mountain Honey, Busy Bee Farms in Brevard, NC says that, People are missing something if they think sourwood honey is the only honey … They’re missing the dark honey that comes during the early spring, showing almost the same color as molasses. It’s often called tulip-poplar or wildflower honey.” Yum! (Sold at Transylvania Farmer’s Market.)

Rhubarb restaurant in Asheville, NC only uses Busy Bee Tulip Poplar Honey. Can you blame them? Chef de Cuisine Dean Neff explains, “The fragrance is so unmistakable intensely floral. It is one of my favorite single ingredients at Rhubard.”  So, no matter which honey you choose, make sure you use only high quality honey which is both local and pure.


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Get the buzz about bees and honey. Beekeeper at Haywood Historic Farmer’s Market.

“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” 

― Henry David Thoreau

Bee-ware. Sadly, not all honey sold is pure.  Surprise, surprise! Recently, a shocking survey by Food Safety News found that “more than 75% of the honey sold in American supermarkets and drug stores wasn’t honey at all but was instead a watered down, reconstituted mish-mash mixed with other cheaper ingredients.” Look for local raw, unfiltered, all-natural honey .

If you want pure honey then find the beekeeper. I learn so much from beekeepers about the survival and hardships of their hard-working honey bees.  It makes each spoonful of honey that much more special. Here is some delicious honey found in my travels:

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Beth Queen of Queen’s Bee Honey loves her bees.

Beekeeper Beth Queen of Queen’s Bee Honey in Pisgah, NC has a great affection for bees. “We love bees and really take good care of them at our farm. Bees need the farm with its natural habitat to survive. It’s important that you buy pure 100 percent honey, free of pesticides.” Queen’s Bee Honey is sold at Historic Haywood Farmer’s Market in Waynesville, NC.

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Rebecca’s Bees: Local to Pinellas County, Florida,  Rebecca’s Bees says, “The honey our bees produce is as contaminate-free as possible, raw and unfiltered. We keep small cell bees which are able to pollinate different flowers than larger, more commonly kept bees.” Sold at Williams Park Farmer’s Market, St. Pete Beach, FL

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Eden’s Nectar is locally harvested by season.  Each season has a distinctively different taste due to the bees’ pollination cycle. Sample the Flavors of Citrus, Primrose, and Clover.  Sold at Williams Park Farmer’s Market.


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 “Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.”

Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

I invite you to celebrate honey bees with me and enjoy honey, Nature’s Golden Miracle. You will bee happy you did. You may just find yourself singing along with The Archies: Click here for song 

Bringing my passion for sweet honey over to my friends at Fiesta Friday #29!  Remember, “A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside.”Winnie the Pooh

Where do you buy your honey?  What’s your favorite way to use honey in recipes?

Photos courtesy of:  AussiegallChris BeckettPurple Sherbert Photography,  Laura FerreiraThe Archies

Other Original photos by Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

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  • Lori

    I LOVE honey too! I use it instead of sugar in all my baking! Love this!

    • Thanks, Lori!! I am baking a peach pie with local honey from the orchards! Yum!

  • Such a great post Lisa! After reading an article on honey about 6 months ago, I went out and bought some pure honey. It wasn’t golden… It was thick and white and had stuff in it… I just couldn’t get myself to swallow it! I truly want to try to take honey everyday… I need to find a different one to try. ❤️

    • Thanks, Prudy! You (Sue and others) are a great blogging inspiration for me 🙂 Try gently heating your honey… it should work 🙂 The best way I shop for honey is at local farmer’s markets. So cool to meet the beekeepers and the bees, too! Cheers!

  • Selma from Selma’s Table

    Wonderful, passionate post – I have really enjoyed it! I don’t know how true this is but if you suffer from hay fever, eating honey that has come from local hives helps to build up your immune system. I live in London (UK) where we have something called ‘Capital Bee’ which is 50 community bee-keeping projects in London – I have one very near me and am always on the look out for local honey as my son suffers from bouts of hay fever. I have just posted a recipe for a Honey Cake and also love it on on Brie as well as hot buttered toast! Thank you for this post – Happy Fiesta Friday!

    • Hi, Selma. Thanks so much!! It’s true, that eating local honey helps build your immunity system (I have honey from places I travel frequently and always have a spoonful before my return visit.) Thanks for co-hosting Fiesta Friday and inviting me to the party. I am sure our fellow partiers can come up with amazing recipes including honey! 🙂

  • A home cook

    I love honey. We are so blessed to have a fantastic market that gives us the choice of yellow box honey, iron bark honey, red gum honey … all from eucalyptus forests, but each one has its own flavour and even the GI varies. My favourite is yellow box. There’s also something called leatherwood honey from Tasmania, and it’s sooooo strong. I don’t like it much, but people tell me it’s a delicacy.

    (To the lady who found white floaties in her honey: just heat it gently. Then, if the floaties are still there, strain it through a sieve. The white is either crystallised honey, which disappears with heating, or some honeycomb wax, which some people like, but filtering gets rid of it.)

    • I can’t wait to taste the honey from Australia! (and the rest of the world). You are exactly right about gently heating the crystalized honey!

  • thenotsocreativecook

    Wonderful post. When I was a child and when sick, my Mom and grandma used to feed us with a tablespoon of honey. I prefer natural and fresh honey than those of the store-bought ones. I meant, nothing compares to a fresh honey, right? Thank you for sharing this. 🙂

    • Your Mom and Grandma were right. Eating local honey keeps us healthy. (Please keep in mind honey is not recommended for children under 1 year old). Cheers!

  • Oh :/ unfortunately I’m not a bee person but I like to put it in some recipes or drinks where I don’t taste it but get all its properties either way.
    Keep enjoying your honey ! 🙂 I’m following!

    http://nomnomdelicious.com

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