Sweet dreams

I had several kinds of honey to choose from to sweeten my cup of ginger-mint tea this afternoon. Yet another great thing about farmers markets is the variety of locally made honey available there in ever-growing numbers. And they offer single-flower honeys, allowing you to appreciate them like fine wines and use their distinct flavors to accent foods.

Tulip poplar honey is a longtime favorite of mine. It’s dark brownish-gold and has the rich flavor of caramel – it’s not just a burst-of-sweetness honey. You have to be careful with this one, so that its own strong flavor doesn’t dominate. But I love it for just about all uses.

I also have some locust flower honey, which was a new variety for me when I purchased it a few weeks aso. The aroma of the pale golden honey is strongly flowery. It tastes very sweet, almost like candy, with little of the bitter edge that honey often has. It’s not as interesting as the tulip poplar, but for straightforward sweetening, this is your honey.

For Christmas, I received a jar of white clover honey. This reddish honey smells like a field on a hot summer day – the clover is definitely there. It tastes of an open field, too, with grassy and bitter flavors among the sweet. Interesting.

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