YumSugarSource: Oh Honey, Honey: A Field Guide to Single-Origin Varietals
While most commercially available honey is a blend, meaning that the bees which produced the honey collected nectar from a variety of flowers, single-origin honey is becoming increasingly popular. Curious to see if we could detect the difference in flavors like acacia and chestnut, we tried seven different types of Italian honey, purchased at Eataly. Care to learn more about the sweet treat? Try this honey primer.
- Acacia (Acacia Honey): This crystal-clear honey has a delicate, almost neutral flavor (one taster likened it to light corn syrup). It would make an excellent all-purpose sweetener or a complement to mild cheeses like homemade ricotta, which would not overpower its mellow flavor.
- Sulla (Honeysuckle Honey) : Slightly grainy and thick, this opaque honey's more-pronounced floral notes won over many tasters. While it's still relatively mild, the honeysuckle flavor could stand up to an aged goat cheese or other more intense cheeses.
- Arancio (Orange Blossom Honey): It was apparent on first taste that this creamy, golden-hued sweetener came from a citrus source. Subtle notes of orange made us dream of applying it to fish in a citrus-honey glaze.
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- Flori Delle Alpi (Alpine Flower Honey): One of our favorites of the bunch, this variety lived up to its name with a strong wildflower flavor, punctuated by a piney, almost medicinal bite. We enjoyed it drizzled over figs, and would also employ it in a vinaigrette used to dress bitter greens, such as arugula or endive.
- Eucalipto (Eucalyptus Honey): Extremely thick and slightly granular, this honey was surprisingly mild (we couldn't detect the eucalyptus) and would work well slathered on a PB&H (peanut butter and honey) sandwich.
- Tiglio (Lime Tree Honey): The most polarizing of the bunch, there was no mistaking this for run-of-the-mill clover honey. Those who were smitten with its strong lime essence would use it as a sweetener in lime desserts or in lieu of agave nectar in a traditional margarita. The only detractor: some found it slightly bitter.
- Castagno (Chestnut Honey): Sadly, we did not enjoy this overwhelming honey, which reminded some of Vicks VapoRub. At best, it's an earthy variety, reminiscent of mulled wine and other Winter treats. Regardless, we won't be sampling a second jar.
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