I went to the monthly beekeeper class & meeting last week. In addition to all the great information & ordering our bees, there were opportunities to taste honey from various places. I tell you, those beekeepers do not joke around about honey. I tried:
wild blueberry honey (from maine)
locust honey (from pennsylvania)
saw palmetto honey
random whisky bottle-bottled honey (no info on source)
I think my favorite was probably the huckleberry honey, although the wild blueberry from Maine was also delicious. Honey varies based on the geography of the hive & the season. The predominant plants in bloom produce different pollen, which determines the characteristics of the honey. Types of pollen vary wildly in protein and fructose content, and each type of pollen has its own defining taste characteristics. Try blueberry pollen next to poppy pollen, if you have any doubt about that.
To complicate matters further, the same type of blossoms can produce honey with geographical flavor. For example, locust honey can vary wildly based on geography – most locust honey is very light, almost white, but other locust honey (like this stuff from Pennsylvania) was dark and tasted medicinal.
This is a jar of saw palmetto honey in the comb. It looked really beautiful, but I did not love the flavor. But specific honey flavors, even the ones I don’t appreciate, are linked to a specific time and place and it reminds me we have such a wild & diverse world. I am a fan of anything that ties you to a “sense of place,” something that’s not homogenized or available in a mall. And I am a BIG fan of honey.