How to be a Honey Connoisseur
It’s often said bees are responsible for 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat. Apron is proud to support Epic Honey Co. who relocates bees that were up for extermination to a safe haven.
Just like wine cultivated from grapes grown in different regions, honey connoisseurs know there are a wide range of wild honey flavors – and they don’t taste anything like the little plastic bear from the grocery store. There are three things any honey connoisseur should consider: flavor, color, and region.
The flavor actually comes from what the bees forage within a three-mile radius of the hive. Like a fine wine, your first taste should direct you to what the bees foraged on, and then, in the back of your throat, detect the sweetness. Imagine an unmistakable avocado or mango first impression taste with just an undertone or afterthought of sweet.
At Epic Honey, we deal in “limited honey reserves” which are never cooked, blended, or adulterated. Our honey is “bee-approved” in that we let our bees forage naturally and are never pumping their hives full of sugar or dumping fructose into hive toppers to increase honey production. The reason a truly wild honey has such a fantastic impact on your taste buds has to do with the fact that when a honey is kept raw—meaning it’s never cooked over 110 degrees—the flavor profile takes on notes of the region and the medicinal value remains intact.
Taste isn’t the only indicator that sets apart a truly wild honey, however. Color varies just as widely and has a vast spectrum depending on the forage density of a hive. We’ve come to expect honey to be gold in color, but this is just one aspect of a food love story that is more multidimensional in nature.
Where your honey comes from is also very important as it can affect the flavor. If you’ve never had honey straight from the hive, you owe it to yourself to taste the difference that comes with a limited reserve honey. Limited reserve honey comes in small runs. A single hive can only produce a maximum of 100 pounds of honey a year. Each hive will have a unique flavor profile. To start tasting honey like a fine wine, you might consider ordering the five-jar sample pack on the Epic Honey website, or find a local beekeeper in your area.
Plenty of other “bee-approved” honey sources exist as well. At Epic Honey, we’ve partnered with the American Honey Bee Protection Agency, and profits from our honey go to support their bee rescue, relocation and rehabilitation of wild honey bees. All of our honey comes from cooperative relationships with beekeepers and bee wranglers who treat their bees with respect, allow them to forage naturally and make sure there are not nearby farms spraying pesticides which could hurt bee colonies.
Bees truly are a natural resource. It’s said that if the bees die, we die, as the crops bees pollinate and the animals which eat those crops would slowly thin out within four years of their disappearance. Organizations like the American Honey Bee Protection Agency are making great strides in educating the public about these issues, growing bee rescue operations all over the country and pointing to “bee-approved” honey suppliers. Consumers can do their part by learning how to be a discerning honey connoisseur and getting their honey the old fashioned way—straight from the hive.