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A taste of honey

Sun, 26 May, 2024

Isn’t it funny how a bear likes honey?

Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!

I wonder why he does?

As Winnie the Pooh rightly claimed, the only reason for being a bee is making honey. "And the only reason for making honey is as I can eat it".

You and me both, Pooh.

Although I have not experienced getting stuck in the doorway after eating too much honey (not yet), I completely understand how it might have happened. Honey is one of the best things in the world. I occasionally (okay, often) get a jar of local set honey, with a bit of honeycomb at the top if I’m lucky. It sits in the cupboard except after a few days there’s a third of it missing. Curiously, a week or so later, there’s only a little left at the bottom of the jar. Very strange.

Local, artisan honey in my view beats all the expensive manukas and Greek acacias. The benefits of honey, undisputed for hay fever sufferers like me, are only effective if the pollen was collected in your locality. Plus, raw, unfiltered honey that will naturally set, is much more valuable in supporting your immune system.

And it’s trending right now, in the form of hot honey, or spicy honey, the hit new condiment. I won’t create a dedicated recipe for it because it’s a no-recipe and a no-brainer. But if you like, here’s how to make hot honey.

You can steep bird’s-eye chillies in some oil or vinegar and stir the strained concoction into warmed-up honey. But even easier, pick any of your favourite spicy, chilli condiment and mix it into honey, in the proportions to your taste. I like sriracha personally, but Korean gochujang will provide a little tamer, warmer heat. And the combo of honey with crispy chilli oil (I buy Laoganma by the bucket, it’s the best) is breathtakingly amazing, on plain rice or even baked potato.

And to leave you with a delightful taste of honey now, a handful of recipes with honey as a key player.

For breakfast, honey added to oat or millet porridge is a must. It makes a loaf of bread special, like in a scalded rye honey loaf or Ethiopian dabo. Half bread, half cake, Irish brack also makes a fantastic breakfast. And honey buns are so delicious they are allegedly used as currency in Florida’s prisons.

Try cucumbers with feta and honey – Greeks do have good honey ideas. Caramelised cabbage is gorgeous thanks to honey, and it makes baked figs with blue cheese ultra special.

Meats need honey too: roast pork belly or whole duck with spice rub. Honey is essential in salad dressings and in stir fry sauces.

And of course cakes are wonderful with honey: wholemeal ricotta cake is sugarless, honey sweetened. Honey cake with dates and apples is not just for the autumn, and honey is essential in classic madeleines and financiers. Plus, if you love frozen yoghurt, you must give honey yoghurt ice a try. Happy cooking!

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About me

Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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