Honey Serving Tips
There are so many great honeys out there that pursuing great honey becomes as much of a culinary sport as tracking down the best olive oils, vinegars or other wonderful ingredients. Honey is a condiment as well. So the flavors an interesting set of honeys brings to your table are exponential...and from a palate point of view, explosive. While Savannah Bee Company offers a few varietals, other artisan beekeepers all over the United States pursue their own local blossoms, creating wonderful products. The National Honey Board’s Honey Locator service can link you up to beekeepers who sell particular varietals. Then, use them:
- At breakfast, not just on toast, scones and muffins but on cold and hot cereal, pancakes and waffles
- With dairy: a mix-in to yogurt, a drizzle over cheese, on ice cream and in ice cream (look for honey ice cream recipes online)
- As a bread-dipper: challah and honey are one of the food world’s great pairings, and a sweet bread (e.g. raisin), semolina or nut bread cut into chunks or strips makes a tasty snack or a lighter dessert with coffee
- To sweeten vinaigrettes, soups, stocks, salsas, barbecue sauces
- With fruit salad, pears or apples (apples dipped in honey is a traditional Jewish New Year’s treat—but so good it should be enjoyed by everyone, regularly)
Photo at right by Melody Lan
- As a garnish, on melon and prosciutto
- To glaze chicken, duck, salmon, shrimp, pork loin, carrots, sweet potatoes
- With cheese (see below)
Match The Honey Type To The Recipe
When serving or cooking with honey, remember to match your varietal to your dish.
- Lighter-flavor honeys (acacia, blackberry, clover and orange blossom, e.g.) are more general-purpose and can be used for baking, sweetening, desserts and candy.
- Medium-intensity honeys (blueberry, eucalyptus, lavender, sage, sourwood, thyme and tupelo, e.g.) with a pronounced varietal character will show through in seasoning. Use them in ice cream, marinades, sauces and salad dressings.
- Stronger honeys (avocado, basswood, chestnut, buckwheat and leatherwood, e.g.) should be used for savory dishes or baked goods with a stronger flavor. Marinades and sauces for red meats, stronger varieties of cheese, breads, richer muffins and cookies with darker flours and brown sugar cry out to be paired with these honeys. Pairing honeys with cheeses is an art unto itself: some people insist on chestnut honeys with blues and parmesan; wildflower is often recommended with blues; buckwheat and Manchego are a match; and tupelo with cheddar, previously noted, is a hit with many.
Continue To Page 5: Storing Honey
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