Aug 05, 2010 1 Comment
Before this week, I had never finished a jar of honey. It’s one of those items that sits mostly unused in the back of my pantry until I have to wonder how old it is, at which time the answer is usually “too old.” That said, I realized recently I’ve never had REAL honey. Holy wow, what a difference.
REAL honey is the local stuff, the raw honey harvested by hand. I’ve sampled some of the local honeys at farmers markets, amazed by their taste and smoothness. It was the flavored honeys from Cloister Honey at Atherton Market that completely won me over, though. Last week, I tasted their honey flavored with lemon zest, and I swooned at the idea of having it in tea. The honey that came home with me, however, was their cinnamon honey. Mmm! Between my husband, myself, and some visiting family, we’ve been experimenting with food combinations based on this cinnamon honey. It transforms an English muffin! It’s divine on waffles! And even for people committed to drinking their coffee black, we’ve realized it creates a pretty killer coffee as well.
Besides its blissful yumminess, local raw honey has a long list of health benefits. Did you know that it’s believed that local honey can protect against local allergens? Or that local honey can help an upset stomach, sore throat, or a migraine? By consuming raw honey created in our community, its powers of immunization increase greatly over its supermarket counterparts. Some see local raw honey as almost a healthy wonder-food. I’ll take it a step further and claim that the most magical aspect of honey is this: putting cinnamon honey on vanilla ice cream can cure even the worst day.
Thanks to Cloisters Honey, I have a new addiction. The result? The honey’s been in my home a mere five days, and I’ll have to restock soon. My first empty jar of honey. Instead of feeling the slightest bit of guilt, I can point to my honey-laden waffles and ice cream and claim — with a straight face — it’s actually good for me. Kinda.
Next time you’re at a local market, ask Cloisters or any other honey vendor for a sample to judge for yourself. If you weren’t a honey lover before, you just might become one. But beware — we all might need to form a sweet, sticky support group soon.