This post is VERY overdue. I’ve spent the last two months trying to figure out how to handle this post, and now it’s time to get on with it.
Happy Valley, a varietal honey company from New Zealand, sent me a jar of their Rewarewa honey back in December and asked me to review it for you. Reviewing the honey is the easy part – it’s DELICIOUS! It’s thick creamy texture and malty, not-too-sweet flavor make it the perfect honey for slathering on baked goods. In fact, just by itself it is pretty irresistible.
The honey is a New Zealand varietal called Rewarewa. Varietal honey is a new concept to me, although I have eaten it my whole life. A varietal honey is one created from bees that gathered pollen from predominately one species of plant, i.e. clover, buckwheat, orange blossom. Happy Valley is taking this to the next level with line of local to New Zealand varietals. Some of these different types are garnering quite the following for their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities. That means just a spoonful of plain honey might not be a bad idea.
The problem is that I also suggested I develop a recipe to share with you. That is the hard part. Finding a recipe that does this special honey justice is not an easy task.
First I made honey yogurt cheese sort of like this one from Edible Boston, and it was good, but the honey by itself spread on a bit of toast was better. Then I made Honeyed Squash Fries, and they turned out great (I’ll share that recipe next time), but they were cooked and that destroys all the health benefits of the honey. So then I just sat around and did nothing.
Here’s the catch though, and something I figured out. Doing nothing is exactly the best way to enjoy this honey – or any high-quality honey. Don’t do anything to it. Don’t mess with nature’s best. So, instead of giving you a recipe, I’m giving you a few ideas for you to enjoy the best high-quality honey you can find.
- Honey and Cheese – Everyone is always talking about pairing wine with cheese, but you can also pair honey with cheese. Most honeys go with hard, aged cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano or aged cheddar. I tried the Rewarewa honey with a few different cheeses and found a perfect pairing with a Clothbound Cheddar.
- Milk and Honey – Surely there are few drinks as long favored as comfort food as a cup of milk and honey, yet it is mostly forgotten in today’s modern world. End your day with a sweet cup of comfort with this classic drink.
- Honey Taffy – It may be a little more fussy than dipping a spoon in the jar, but it sure is a lot more fun!
In my next post, I’ll share my own recipe with you for honey. But that recipe can use any honey at all. My advice if you get a high-quality honey like Happy Valley’s Rewarewa honey is savor the flavor by its self. Enjoy!