Dietribes: Honey, I'm Home!
• The color and flavor of honey differ depending on the bees’ nectar source (the blossoms). In fact, there are more than 300 unique kinds of honey in the United States, originating from such diverse floral sources as Clover, Eucalyptus and Orange Blossoms. In general, lighter colored honeys are mild in flavor, while darker honeys are usually more robust in flavor.
• A honey locator can help you find your local source and its floral foundations (in Georgia we have a dark and strong-flavored honey variety called Gallberry that was my Grandma's absolute favorite!) What is your favorite kind of honey, Flossers?
• According to Honey.com, bees travel collectively about 55,000 miles (at a rate of around 15 miles per hour) and must "tap" about two million flowers to produce one pound of honey. An average bee makes about 1/12 of a teaspoon in his lifetime.
• Give a toast of mead to the honeybee! (Mead is, of course, a wine made from honey) Especially in September, which is National Honey Month.
• The State of Utah respects how hard honey bees work -- the Beehive (no not that beehive) and word "industry" became the official motto and emblem for Utah on March 4, 1959. (The beehive was chosen as the emblem for the provisional State of Deseret in 1848 and was maintained along with the word "industry" on the seal and flag when Utah became a state in 1896).
• Honey can be used as an effective cough suppressant (it can act as a "throat coat"), and can soothe small burns.
• A great film that illustrates the life of a Tupelo honey producer is Ulee's Gold. But it's probably not something you should try at home … at least, without some guidance. Otherwise you might end up with 3 million bees (but 60 pounds of honey!)
• Honey's #1 fan is of course Winnie the Pooh. Although too much honey can be a bad thing …
• Honey has been all the rage for quite awhile: "In AD79 it was Pompeii's most popular hang out, where locals would stop off to meet friends and partake in a snack of baked cheese smothered in honey." Sounds tasty - luckily it's opening back up after almost 2000 years (now that's something you don't often see on an advertisement, "your local snack shack since AD 79!")
• How do you consume your honey, and what are your favorite kinds? I prefer honey as a sweetener, but usually like it mild! Do any of you use honey medicinally?
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‘Dietribes’ appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.