My friends Richard and Ronna went to British Columbia (Canada) this summer and brought me back some Maple Honey from Chilliwack River Valley, British Columbia. I've been to British Columbia before but had no idea where Chilliwack was and had to look it up on a map. It is in the Fraser river valley and very close to the US border. It is mostly an agricultural community- and as you may know, bees are an important part of most agricultural operations so I'm not surprised that there is a honey industry there as well. In addition to agriculture, though, there also have manufacturing, food processing and tourism industries in the area- and up until 1999 a Canadian army base.
The Chilliwack River Valley Natural Honey LTD has a very nice website (just google it and it is the first thing that pops up). It has been in operation for 30 years and produces different types of honey and honey products (including beeswax candles). Agnes Coutt is the apiculturist.
Richard and Ronna brought me back Maple Honey. I called Montreal home for many years (the land of Maple trees) and had never heard of Maple Honey. I didn't think Maple trees had flowers that bees could gather anything from. I just assumed that it was honey with maple syrup mixed in. Silly me. According to the website Maple honey is gathered from maple blossoms (Maple trees have blossoms? I feel so stupid) and is generally the first honey that is collected in the spring.
The maple honey is clear, deep orange with a bit of a reddish tinge. It is completely liquid at room temperature and medium thick. It's texture is smooth. It is not too sweet and doesn't have a strong honey taste. What you notice most is the texture, which is very smooth. The after taste, though is subtle, but rather distinct; It tastes a little like homemade lollipops. This honey would be perfect for tea or baking because I don't think it would change the taste of things much, but would add a substantial dose of honey sweetness.
The Chilliwack River Valley Natural Honey operation is visitor friendly. They have a store and can be found at 43476 Adams Road, Chilliwack, B.C., Canada V2R 4L1 (Phone: (604) 823-7400; Fax: (604) 823-7401; Toll Free: 1-888-361-2200; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)