Honey Pairing 101

Studio 512

There’s a local company that’s bringing one of nature’s nectars to a whole new level. Tanya Phillips, owner and master beekeeper at Bee Friendly Austin, dropped by to show us why honey varietals are the bees’ knees.Varietal Honeys have a majority of their pollen from a single source and consequently have a distinct color and flavor, in general, the darker the honey, the more robust the flavor and the lighter the honey, the more delicate the flavor. 

Comb Honey is as pure and raw as it gets and often the “candy” old timers remember as kids.  Cut a small square and chew it like a caramel (the wax is edible).  Pairs well with raspberries, a brie (or camembert) and baguettes it makes for an appetizer that gets rave reviews.

Wildflower honey has a well-rounded complex variety of floral flavors and the widest variety of pollen. It can vary greatly in flavor and color between locations only a few miles apart, at different times in the season and from year to year.  It is a “go-to” honey for baking and the honey we typically use in banana bread (Recipe below).

Tallow Tree is a coastal honey, dark, rich and full-bodied; it’s a favorite of the dark beer and red wine drinkers.  With a molasses like flavor, it is strong enough for black coffee and will hold its own in a homemade BBQ sauce.  It pairs well where you want that hearty flavor to come through, drizzle onto plain yogurt (or vanilla ice cream) and top with pecans or use it in an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe.

Orange Blossom honey is unique to the citrus groves, this light crisp honey has a distinctive citrus note and an aroma of orange blossoms.  Its subtle nature can easily be overwhelmed with stronger foods so it pairs well delicate flavors.  It makes an excellent accompaniment to chamomile or green tea or as a glaze for carrots. It readily compliments a dish already working with citrus fruits.

Clover honey (Not the heated and filtered “Clover” in the grocery stores) has a sweet flowery aroma and pleasingly mild taste that hints at the plant’s delicate blossom. This delicate honey can be paired with dark chocolate, used for a top quality lemonade (1-part honey, 1-part lemon juice, 5-parts water), or be used anywhere a touch of sweetness is desired. As it doesn’t overpower other flavors, it is commonly used in baking and cooking.

Alfalfa Blossom is our mild and thick “biscuit honey” that’s also great on pancakes, waffles or granola.  It is always a favorite of the kids and great in a honey mustard sauce or as a sweet element in vinaigrette.

Recipe for Banana Bread1 cup mashed bananas  (about 3 med)1/3 cup melted butter or oil1/2 cup Wildflower or Tallow honey2 eggs1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour1/2 tsp salt1 tsp baking soda1/4 cup hot water1/2 cup chopped nutsBeat oil and honey together, add eggs, mix well. Stir in bananas. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl. Add dry ingredients and hot water alternately to first ingredients. Mix until smooth. Bake in greased 9x5x3 loaf pan @ 325 for 50-60 min. Cool 1\2 hr on wire rack. Enjoy. 

Bee Friendly Austin is located on Wier Loop Circle. Go to beefriendlyaustin.com for more information or call 512-560-3732.

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