Local Honey

This week I've been afflicted with some major laryngitis and so have been consuming mass quantities of hot tea with honey and lemon. Since I ran out and had to go to Tendercrop to get more honey, I've been thinking about it (while I'm not trying to sleep off this cold, anyway). Like a lot of foods, honey is much better tasting when you get it closer to home.

There are many, many different kinds of honey out there. Most of what we get from the grocery store is from clover, which means that the bees go to clover flowers. But think of all the other flowers out there: blossoms on fruit trees and berry bushes, roses, wildflowers … endless possibilities and combinations for endless varieties of honey.

We tried a wildflower honey once before from Whole Foods, and I was not a fan. It was very, very flowery tasting — like an Earl Grey honey, it was kind of perfumey. Perhaps it's an acquired taste.

The last time we needed honey we got it at Tendercrop, our local farm. There they sell jars of honey from the Essex County Honey Company, which is located in Peabody. We got just a small jar to test it. Since it was labeled as a wildflower honey, we weren't sure we'd like it.

Oh, it was so, so good. It's dark and rich and warm tasting, and not perfumey at all. It's complex. So when I needed more yesterday to nurse my throat, I got the big jar:

That's 32 ounces of honey there, and I've already had a bunch of it! It's sitting right under a light so it looks a bit lighter in the photo than it actually is. In real life, it's almost as dark as a Guinness in the jar. When you spoon some out, it's more of a nut-brown color.

If you don't live in Massachusetts, you can probably still find excellent local honey in your area. To help out, I found this website that can link you to local beekeepers and honey sellers. You can also search by type of honey, so if you are really desperate to try pure apple blossom honey, you can search for that too. 


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