A taste of honey

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
*** NON NE *****

There is probably no other food that can boast the romance and history of honey. From the first light of civilization, this golden sweet liquid has been held in high regard by man as a food, medicine, trading commodity, and as a social and spiritual force.

It is hard to imagine the work that goes into its production. The worker bee of a hive must literally work herself to death during her six-week life span. It takes 556 worker bees flying one and one-third the distance around the world, to produce one ounce of honey! And, the honeybee is essential because of her ability to pollinate crops. The value of this service to farmers outweighs the dollar value of the entire honey production.

Most of us are familiar with honey in its liquid state, clear and shimmering. But it can be found in other forms too. Look for these: Liquid Honey - is extracted from the comb and strained. Freshly extracted honey may crystallize within a few weeks. When heat-treated to remain liquid, it should keep for several months at room temperature, and is best kept tightly covered.

Creamed Honey - is made by seeding liquid honey with finely granulated honey and storing it under controlled conditions until completely granulated. Since it has a smooth, fine texture and spreads easily, it is becoming increasingly popular.

Comb Honey - is natural honey sealed in wax that is made by the bees in the hive. It may be sold in sections in wooden frames or it may be cut in sections and each piece wrapped separately.

Chunk Honey - is labeled as such. It is sold in a container and consists of pieces of comb honey as well as liquid.

Pasteurized Honey - may be either liquid or creamed honey that has been heated or "pasteurized" to destroy the yeasts that might cause the honey to ferment. Pasteurization does not affect the quality of the honey and it will keep almost indefinitely. It is labeled "pasteurized".

Honey is sold in various size containers from 8 ounces to 8 pounds. It is a more economical buy in large containers.

Color and Flavor: Honey varies in color, flavor and aroma depending on the kind of flowers from which the bees have gathered the nectar. As a rule, the lighter the honey, the milder the flavor. Clover honey is white and mild, while buckwheat honey is dark and strong. Honey may be a blend of several flavors. The color classes are: white, golden, amber and dark. The color is stated on the label.

Storing: Honey is best stored at room temperature in a dry place. High temperatures may cause honey to darken. Creamed honey will change in texture when stored in a hot room and in this case is best refrigerated.

Honey when well sealed may be stored almost indefinitely in the freezer without any changes occuring in flavor or texture.

Use in Cooking and Baking: Honey may be used in place of sugar in many recipes but the amount of liquid must be reduced. One cup of honey may replace one cup of sugar but the liquid should be cut by one quarter. In a plain cake recipe, honey may be substituted for one half the sugar. Some baked foods made with honey may brown more quickly than those made with sugar and the oven temperature should be slightly lowered.

Darker honeys give a distinctive flavor to muffins, breads and bars.

To liquify honey, place container over warm water.

A cup of honey weighs 12 ounces.

A pound of honey measures 1⅓ cups.

Here are a few suggestions in the use of honey: Honey Cinnamon Butter: Cream ¼ cup butter and blend in ¼ cup honey and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Spread on hot toast.

Honey Butter Sauce: Heat until blended, ¾ cup honey and 3 tablespoons butter. Cool and add 1 teaspoon lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon vanilla. Serve with pancakes or waffles.

Honey Nut Sauce: Dissolve 1 tablespoon of instant coffee in 2 tablespoons boiling water. Combine with 1 cup liquid honey and ¼ cup toasted almonds.

Serve over ice cream.

Recipe by: The Canadiana Cookbook/Mme Jehane Benoit/1970 Posted to TNT - Prodigy's Recipe Exchange Newsletter by Bill & Leilani Devries <devriesb@...> on Aug 27, 1997

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