Whenever I think of Local Raw Wild Honey, I swear I hear Marvin Gaye crooning in my ears, “How Sweet It Is”! This Rambling is dedicated to all the things we are doing locally to promote beekeeping and honey harvesting on the Rock! I keep saying it, “Food will show us the way.” Our creativity has been unleashed and we are reflecting some incredible products that defy the ordinary!
The first time I ever tasted raw wild honey was about eight years ago. I’d just met my husband (the man to the left in the picture above), who was my neighbor at the time. He was having a hive removed that was too close to our apartment building. The gentleman who did the actual removal came to us and asked me if I wanted to taste some of the honey he collected. I tasted a tiny piece of the golden deliciousness along with the comb. To put into words what it tasted like feels impossible. Time slowed. My heart thundered in my ears. My breath caught in my throat, a small choir of angels descended from on high to sing songs of celebration. LOVE AT FIRST BITE!!
It was warm liquid gold. The sweetness was intense because it had to be to hold itself against all the flavors dancing on my tongue from the nectar these beautiful little creatures collected. Overtones of lime and mango came blazing through, since it was those flowers the bees had feasted on to make their royal blend. I was hooked. I could NEVER go back to honey in the plastic bear bottle!
Since then, I have watched as the local apiarists have gone from bee removal, to honey harvesting, to wine making, to vinegar crafting, to beeswax soaps designing, to all the infinite list of products they create! And it is simply amazing.
From the back left in the photo above is Wanda Wright’s Honey Vinegar made with local raw honey. Wanda also makes island fruit infused Honey Mead/Wine which is my absolute favorite especially the Yellow Plum. I used her honey vinegar in my Contessa Honey and Lime Sesame Dressing.
For my finishing honeys, the ones that stand alone with baked brie on toast or drizzled over fruit, I turn to Grantley Samuel. I once tasted some of his honey that he collected near the beach. The oceanic flavor was definitely present–subtle, but present. This honey you don’t hide in any food as an ingredient. It stands alone.
The workhorse of my kitchen of course is the V.I. Honeyman’s honey. Beyond flavorful, I use his honey in everything I make from my Lime Baklava, to Passion Fruit Ice Tea, to Mango Salsa! He has harvested honey for years, and is just kind and generous in his willingness to share his knowledge with anyone interested in learning about being an apiarist.
I have also had a chance to sample honey and beeswax soaps from Queen CariBee! There is a lovely sandalwood soap she made sitting in my guest bathroom that perfumes the house beautifully and naturally!
Local Honey is my sweetener of choice. It literally is a taste of our little Rock! If you want to contact some of our local apiarists, here are the contact numbers for just some of the honey I’ve tried and use in my kitchen!
- V.I. Honeyman: 340-642-8740
- Grantley Samuel/GLG Plants and Produce: 340-332-3932
- Wanda Wright: 340-718-2142
- Queen CariBee: 404-310-8278
Try to find some of your own local honey and experiment with the flavors you will encounter! Taste the flowers and foods that are in bloom in your own area, and give your mouth a new way of experiencing this ahhhmazing food! Enjoy!