Oh Honey Bee, How Sweet Are Thee
Honey, a sweet food substance made mostly by the honey bee, is one of the most versatile and lately one of the most adaptable and sought-after food for foodies all over the world. From a drizzle on your morning yogurt parfait to hot honey on pizzas to the star of any charcuterie board to your accompaniment in your evening tea …. you might have honey multiple times a day and not even realize it! Honey is now also widely used for baking and used as an alternative to sugar. In a Smithsonian magazine article titled “The Science Behind Honey’s Eternal Shelf Life”, we learn that because most microorganisms can not grow in honey, you can leave honey sealed for thousands of years without it spoiling!
Lately the honey craze has exploded and it is now considered a “craft” accessory to most any food/drink. According to an article about “getting to know Italian honey” honey was mentioned for the first time by the Romans in detailed descriptions of its culinary usage. Known as “the food of Gods” honey was mostly used in the Southern regions of Italy but now has evolved becoming one of the most popular condiments either to sweeten teas, drizzle on a warm piece of bread or in popular sweets such as the Torrone. From your healthy morning muffins to recipes for soothing throat ailments, there is no place honey can’t be used! High end chocolatiers and confectionary producer Baratti & Milano carry a deliciously honey crafted candy and also some of their most sought out chocolate bars such as their pear and almond bar that has a hint of that deliciously sweet Italian honey we just can’t get enough of!
Interestingly enough not all honey is created equal…. take Italy for example, a major manufacturer of honey and Europe’s 5th largest honey supplier where each region has their own “flavor” of honey with a distinct taste due to the different trees and plants that the honey bee is attracted to in that particular region. The Italian Honey Bee, also known as the Apis Mellifera Ligustica is one of the more popular bee strains. If interested in learning just how important the Bee is, there is a quick read, “Made in Italy”, that goes into detail about how Italy is planning and actively pursuing protecting the planet, one bee at a time!