The Jewish New Year, otherwise known as Rosh Hashanah, was celebrated just this past week, and one of the most common symbols of this time is honey. A jar of honey symbolises a sweet new year, so around this time it is a popular commodity in Jewish households. When buying honey, no matter the time of year, do you stop to consider which type of honey you are purchasing?
This is something most consumers don’t even pause to think about, but it is worth some reflection. Saul’s Deli in Berkeley is arranging a panel to give people the opportunity to think more about what type of honey they are buying, and its production process.
Honey production begins with bees; however, there has been a problem with bee-keeping over the last few years as a result of a condition called the colony collapse disorder. This refers to a phenomenon whereby large numbers of bees abandon their hives, putting the honey crop at risk. It has affected large hives worldwide, but at the same time it allows consumers the opportunity to consider the benefits of organic honey.
Buying honey from small scale apiaries supports healthy bees, and it also gives you different tasting honey to tempt your palate. Honey is usually considered a sweet alternative to the various types of sugar, but it is so much more than that. If you can find a local farmer’s market, you will be surprised by the multitudes of honey flavours available.
Honey gets its flavour from the type of blossoms the bees collect pollen from; as a result, it is available in subtle flavours ranging from the Australian eucalyptus to the Middle Eastern carob. Different trees also allow the bees to produce honey that varies in colour, viscosity, and sweetness. Apart from all this, there is also a difference in honey depending on the time of year it is produced.
This year, give yourself a treat, and try to find some local honey from a farmer’s market. In all their delicious variety, honey is a sweet you will want to treat yourself to all year round, leaving no doubt that the organically produced honeys have a lot more to offer.
Above image via mauroguanandi