Impulse Buy: Raw Honey with Comb
Store: Whole Foods
We tend to forget where honey really comes from. The same could be said for a lot of our foods, but honey is particularly deceiving. When packaged in a squeeze bottle, it’s comparable to mayonnaise, ketchup or any other man-made convenience condiments. The amber liquid seems so clear and pure. Did this really come from an insect?
I found this honey by accident, and I was immediately intrigued by the fact that it looked like a science experiment:
I’m not usually a honey aficionada; if I’m seeking a sweetener I’ll use low-glycemic stevia or agave. However, I developed a slight honey addiction while studying in Denmark last semester. Over there, honey is abundant, even in discount grocery stores, but it’s very different from the American substance I was used to. It was thick and creamy, like a fluffy peanut butter. This made it all too easy to spread onto any flat food surface. I eased off the stuff once coming back to the states, but I caved when I found this raw honey that a beekeeper in my neighborhood makes. Three cheers for being a locavore!
I love the tangy aroma of this particular honey. It has a light taste, picking up on hints of citrus or even ginger. And you can taste the fragrance of the different flowers used. We forget that honey is actually made by bees from the nectar of flowers. The comb is the hexagon-shaped wax cells built by honey bees to contain larvae and stores of honey and pollen. It is sweet and malleable, and can be chewed like gum.
Raw honey is believed to be the best kind of honey for you because it is entirely unprocessed. It is an alkaline-forming food that contains amylase, an enzyme concentrated in flower pollen which helps to predigest starchy foods. It increases energy and counteracts acid indigestion. Raw honey is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. Additionally, eating raw honey during the spring can actually help alleviate allergy symptoms. Above all, local honey helps support the local economy as well as disappearing bee colonies. So go put some honey in your tea!
**How to Get Through a Jar of Raw Honey**
1. Again, go put some honey in your tea! This is especially good in green teas, and it’s great if you have a nasty summer cold.
2. Drizzle honey over hot toast for breakfast.
3. Make honey butter by whisking together four parts room-temperature butter or butter alternative with one part honey. Add a bit of vanilla extract or cinnamon for a true treat, but don’t blame me if you start ingesting butter by the spoonful.
4. Use a bit of honey to create a basic salad dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
5. Mix honey into a marinade for tofu or meat with soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, minced garlic, fresh ginger, and green onion.
6. Put honey on your face! Leave it on as an acne-fighting mask for ten minutes. Or, try mixing honey with sugar for a very sweet facial scrub.
7. Sip on a hot toddy of honey, hot tea, lemon, and whiskey.
Suzannah Schneider has been eating local honey by the spoonful in order to use the cute jar it came in to drink summery Pimm’s Cups. She is living, working, and sweating in New Orleans this summer.