How I eat local: Artisan honey
One of the best things about eating locally is the adventure, that search for distinctive tastes that has a sense of individuality. I find that in honey.
I’ve become a bit of a honey aficianado, but still a novice. Here I’ve lined up a few items in my honey collection. Front to back: honey from my neighbor Rich, Beeline Honey’s autumn spicy honey (now Chicago Honey Co-op), Chicago City Hall Roof Top Honey, Chicago Honey Co-op, the pale spring version that has distinct notes of vanilla.
A few things about honey:
- It lasts virtually forever. Honey has been found in tombs of ancient Egypt, perfectly edible.
- Colony Collapse Disorder, a phenomenon where bees mysterious abandon their hives, has dangerously reduced the honeybee population worldwide.
- Backyard beekeeping is skyrocketing as people learn the importance of bees and enjoy the delicious sweetness they offer us.
- Urban honey constanly changes color an flavor as the bees pollinate different flowers as they come into bloom. This is different from varietal honeys, buckwheat, lavender or clover, for example, which are made by bees hired to pollinate specific crops.
And as you think of local ingredients, try your honey, milk and cream in a lovely honey ice cream.
This is the first in an occasional series about how I eat local. Feel free to chime in with your own tips and ideas.