Who haven’t had honey ever? Honey has developed into our culinary tradition and its utilization dates back to thousands of years ago since the Stone age indicating the association between humans and honeybees. Innumerable health benefits of pure honey have helped it to evolve as an image of healthy sweetener.
No I am not a connoisseur, but I can surely identify and talk about some of the flavors of the food that I taste. Apart from flowers, bees and bee-keepers, I was not aware of any terms associated with honey. An invite to a Honey Tasting session by Asala Pure Honey had me excited and I searched online to source some information as to what to expect at a Honey tasting event.
Beginning with colors of honey, it could range anywhere from water white to dark amber. The color completely depends upon the type of flowers the bees collect nectar from and the soil where they grow. The texture of honey can range from liquid to thick and creamy. Another factor in the texture of honey is crystallization. Honey crystallizes with age and it can be revived by thawing in a water bath of temperature exceeding not more than 38°C. There is a false belief that honey crystallizes due to added sugar but that is not the case with pure raw honey.
The celebrated Sidr honey from Yemen, with all its glory was the topper. Sidr honey from Yemen is known for its medicinal properties and is made by bees residing at an altitude of 3500m above sea level where the air is fresh and pollution free. There was different varieties of honey from Yemen that includes Wild mountain Sidr honey of Aussaiamat, Doan and Jardan, Wild Sidr honey of Doan, Wild Somar honey of Doan, and Wild Sal Flowers Honey. The Wild Mountain Almond honey sounded quiet good. The Sidr honey from Yemen is one of the most expensive honey.
Manuka honey from New Zealand also known for medicinal properties can be found at the store. Dark in color with a distinctive strong taste, Manuka honey is widely used for its antifungal and antibacterial properties and is an excellent source of amino acids.
There was a section of French honey by Gabriel Perroneau. Established in 1890, Honey is a family business for the Perroneau family. It is the fifth generation of bee keepers now and they specialise in pure raw pasteurized honey. The speciality of Perroneau honey production is that the bee hives are constantly moved to different parts of France/Europe to let the bees harvest nectar from flowers of different species and regions. Moreover the bee hives are constantly maintained at a temperature of 35°C which brings out the maximum health benefits of honey.
The types of honey from Gabriel Perroneau included fruity, floral and herbal flavors. Beginning with fruity flavors the Lemon tree and Orange blossom honey were remarkable. The lemon tree honey is a real delight. Its fine creamy texture makes it ideal to sweeten tea and desserts. The fruity flavor enhances the taste to a whole new level. Orange blossom honey is light in color and often a combination of citrus flavors.
Have you tasted bitter honey? I did not even know honey could taste bitter. The Chestnut honey from Gabriel Perroneau took me to a whole new level in terms of taste. There I was, standing with a mouthful of honey which had rather a strong spicy/savory note and a real bitter after taste. The dark-colored honey has more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties than the paler varieties.
Avocado honey is my second favorite of the ones that I tasted from Gabriel Perronneau. It tastes nothing like the fruit nor does it look pale. The honey is dark and has a beautifully rich buttery flavour. I felt it more like a date syrup aftertaste and amazingly sweet. I would prefer it on my toasts.
Herbal honey included Eucalyptus honey, Rosemary and Thyme honey, Mint and Coriander honey and Linden tree honey. The cough from my Bronchitis was not completely healed and Thomas from La’bielle recommended me to try Linden tree honey and I was feeling a lot better for sometime. Linden tree honey has a yellowish creamy color and texture and is known for its antiseptic and sedative properties. Ideal for your bed time routine! Eucalyptus honey have a stronger herbal flavor and can be used to relieve sore throats and colds.
Mint and Coriander honey was something I never heard/tasted before. The Coriander honey is one among the rare honey as the flowers produce a low-level of nectar. With a distinctive taste and amber color this was too strong for my taste buds. Coriander honey is a good treatment for gastritis and ulcers. Mint honey on the other hand was clearly my favorite of all the homey that I tasted that evening. Subtle and fine texture with a sweet cooling taste. The aftertaste is quiet cool too. Mint honey is ideal for treatment of digestive issues.
There was Thyme and Rosemary honey that were rather strong to my taste. But I was marvelled by the varieties of honey Gabriel Perronneau had to offer.
Floral honey included Lavender honey which was clearly a favorite of many. Not overly sweet with a nice scent, this honey has a beautiful creamy texture. There was Almond honey which was sweet and light in color and did not have any aftertaste that makes it ideal on toasts.
All these varieties are available at Gold Gourmet outlets in The Pearl, Gulf Mall and Villagio Mall in Qatar. Asala honey brings the pure organic honey to you at very reasonable prices. Asala honey is also available in the UAE.
Honey and citrus salad dressing recipe:
Raw Sidr Honey – 1tbsp
Mandarin juice – 3tbsp
Mix thoroughly and drizzle over your salad. The citrus juice cuts the sweetness of the honey!
Do you find a favorite honey in the article? Tell me in comments below.