Let It Bee

Eight honeys we know and love
Photos: Katie Foster/Tasting Table, Dino Giordano via Flickr
Honey Guide

Anything sugar can do, honey can do better.

Most famous for its role as a sweetener, honey is packed with extra uses. Bad encounter with a hot pan? Honey's antibacterial properties will soothe a burn. Dry skin from the change in weather? A honey face mask will make you glow.

Auxiliary benefits aside, our tea, baked goods and toast would be lackluster without honey. And as cute as the plastic bear is, you should seek out the good stuff, especially when eating honey on its own. Single varietal is the way to go in order to taste the nuances between something like basswood and sourwood. Since honey even has its own terroir (much like wine), every bottle is slightly different.

Check out the slideshow below for eight ways to sweeten your day, from oatmeal in the morning to your bedside cup of tea.

  • Red Currant Honey, $9
    This vibrant variety goes well with apples, making it perfect for Rosh Hashanah celebrations—or for finishing a slice of apple pie. "Honey sommelier" and Red Bee expert Marina Marchese places the hives in a New York vineyard that makes red currant wine, resulting in honey from the currant flower nectar that resembles bright red fruit wine.

  • Mike's Hot Honey, $10
    This Brooklyn-based company grew out of a love affair between Michael Kurtz's chile-infused honey and Paulie Gee's pizza. We approve of that method, but you can (and should) try it on everything from kale to ice cream. If you can't wait long enough for your shipment to arrive, try making your own for topping chicken and waffles.

  • Buckwheat Honey, $12
    You know buckwheat from its noodle or flour forms, and as it turns out, buckwheat nectar makes an excellent snack for bees. It tends to be deep in color, with a molasses taste to match. Dark honey is like the stout of liquid sweeteners—and just like a stout, it pairs well with chocolate or coffee.

  • Truffle Honey, $10
    Di Bruno's white truffle-infused honey is your cheese board's dream come true. You can also drizzle it over a bowl of vanilla ice cream for an earthy dessert. No matter which way you enjoy your truffle honey, make sure to keep your pinky up, you fancy lady.

  • Basswood Honey, $16.50
    Another type that's perfect for dipping apples, especially Granny Smiths, as the mild flavor of this light-colored varietal pairs well with tart green apples. Bee Raw is committed to saving bees from colony collapse, so go ahead and buy two jars. We also suggest the wild raspberry honey, which gets all its flavor from the nectar and pollen of the berry bushes rather than additional infusions.

  • Avocado Honey, $10
    Similar to buckwheat honey, this type leans toward the darker side and tastes like maple or sorghum syrup but with more of a floral edge. Put it on your avocado toast (of course) with a sprinkle of hot chile flakes for a spicy-sweet snack.

  • Wildflower Honey, $7
    You can thank the busy bees of the Midwest for Bare Honey's delicate floral honey, a unique blend of clover, raspberry, cherry and alfalfa blossom. While you're at it, we also recommend the family-owned business's nearly addictive vanilla bean honey spread.

  • Whipped Honey with Cinnamon, $16.55
    Crystallized honey is like viscous sweet butter and perfect for spreading onto toast. The Savannah Bee Company managed to bottle up the singular comfort of a fireplace on a chilly evening with their Ceylon cinnamon-spiked whipped honey. We suggest you skip formalities and go to town on a spoonful of this sweet stuff.

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