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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Australian High Country Honey, Beechworth Honey, Corowa, Australia

I have a large jar (17.6 oz) of Australian High Country Honey from Beechworth Honey. They have a great website that outlines their history and their philosophy among other things, and you can buy their products online, which are extensive. They have everything from different kinds of honey, to honey lotions and soaps, to sparkling honey nectar, to beeswax candles, to honey candies. They also list recipes on line, offer guided tours of their facility and surrounds, and offer an e-newsletter. Quite a production.

From the history outlined on their site, their honey business started in the 1880s with Benjamin Robinson. He was mining for gold at Beechworth but turned from being a miner to being a apiarist who supplied 'liquid gold' to the mining community for 'gold gold.' His family has continued the business (presumably not for 'gold, gold' anymore, alas) ever since.

The area seems to be made for honey. It has an abundance of flora, including eucalypt forests. The range of honey that they offer reads like an exotic menu: Blue Gum, Black Box, Gray Iron Bark, Red Stringy Bark, Snow Gum, Tasmanian Leatherwood. That must be some eucalypt forest!

Flash forward four generations and Jodie and Seven Goldsworthy are continuing in the family business. The Beechworth Honey factory is located near Corowa in New South Wales and forms the center of an extensive honey producing network. If you are interested, here is their website:

I have 'Australian High Country' honey and didn't know what the 'High Country' was all about until I looked it up. Apparently Australia has 'Australian Alps' that stretch for 400 km from Canberra, through southern New South Wales, and along the Great Divide into eastern Victoria. The million and a half hectares of rocky landscape is home to national parks and wild life protected areas. This wild country is also the setting for the famous Australian poem written by Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson, 'The Man from Snowy River.'

The Australian High Country honey that I have is a warm, burnt orange-red color. It is very thick. It has a very smooth texture, almost glassy, and takes time to dissolve. It isn't too sweet. It has a very subtle background taste of molasses, with buttery overtones and a woody, slightly smoky, aftertaste. This is a hearty, husky honey- robust and very satisfying. It would be good in hot cereal or in tea.

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