Now That's a Mouthful

Bonus Episode: The Honey Buzz in our Kitchens.

Bonus Episode: The Buzz on Honey in our Kitchens.

Understanding what’s going on with honey bees, including their decline is important. One in every three bites of food originates with pollination from the honey bee. We look at the importance of bees, honey and its use in our home kitchen, including baking applications, everyday cooking and cocktails!

We talk about…

  • USDA announcement that honey bee tracking will be suspended indefinitely as states get approval to use a bee-killing pesticide; data on the declining honey bee populations will no longer be collected due to budget cuts.
  • Honey has been used throughout history and is now farmed all over the world; every world culture uses honey.
  • 1/3 of all food grown depends to some degree on honeybees.
  • A single worker bee makes less than a teaspoon of honey in her 6 week lifetime; one colony can produce 44 pounds of honey during a typical summer.
  • Cherie talks about 10 different and compelling types of honey, to try including…
  • Manuka Honey- medicinal honey from New Zealand’s Manuka tree. Rivals some medications with its antibacterial properties; Sourwood Honey-American native honey comes from sourwood trees in the Appalachian Mountains. White flowers=light in color; with an anise and spice flavor. Butter/caramel like sweetness; Rosemary Honey-light yellow in color; strong sweet flavor; believed to assist with liver function, digestion, high blood pressure, and gout; Eucalyptus Honey-comes from Australia and California. The color varies; the taste is different from most honeys; more herbal and has a hint of menthol; great to add to your tea when feeling under the weather; Lavender Honey-light in color with a bright yellow tone. Not overly sweet, no bitterness, slight floral woody aroma and has tyrosine-a key amino acid that helps with mood.
  • How to taste honey: Sample on a small spoon but smell first, aroma is key! Then place on the tip of your tongue and let it melt so the honey can melt over your palate. Cleanse your palate in between with an unsalted cracker and room temp water.
  • Pasteurized honey vs. raw honey.
  • To use honey in baking replace sugar with equal parts of honey in your favorite recipe, especially muffins and quick breads. Lower the temperature of the oven by 25 degrees. AIso, for every cup of honey you use, increase the baking soda by ½ tsp to help neutralize the acidity of the honey and help the muffins rise. 
  • Rule of thumb is that when replacing honey (a liquid sweetener) 1:1 with sugar, you must account for the added liquid in other areas. Honey adds moisture, so you must take away liquid in other areas. Subtract ¼ cup liquid for every full cup of honey used.
  • Baking at Republique by Margarita Manzke has a fantastic Sticky Bomb recipe that uses honey in the sticky bomb topping! It uses a brioche dough to make the Italian Bomboloni (donuts); Manzke adds a topping with bacon and toasted pecans!
  • The Teen Kitchen cookbook and their recipes that use teenage pleasing ingredients like honey.
  • Make honey your star in any dish; sweet pushes all other flavors forward. Use it as a finishing glaze.
  • Let’s Get Tropical, Georgi Radev has a recipe for Honey Cream used in his signature cocktail, Honolulu Honey. The honey cream is made with honey, sugar and unsalted butter. Low and slow heat, then cool. The Honolulu Honey is a combination of the honey cream, Puerto Rican gold rum, mango puree, pineapple juice and lime juice.
  • Maggie Hoffman offers us the Honey Crisp cocktail in her latest book called Batch Cocktails. She has 4 different recipes for honey syrup. The Honey Crisp cocktail uses 3:1 ratio water to honey, sherry, apple brandy, Amaro Nonino, and fresh lemon juice. Think just picked sweet-tart apples in a cocktail!
  • Cherie’s wrap: It has been said that except for man, nowhere in the world is there anything to compare with the incredible efficiency of the industry of the honeybee! Honey is so much than just a sweetener. Exploring the world of honey is truly an eye-opening experience!

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These are cookbooks that contain links to the recipes we talk about in this episode. You can find more cookbooks and our reviews of them on our Cookbooks Page.