This honey is a rare find. I got it from a chance meeting with Maria who, amongst many other things, does beekeeping as a hobby in Waltham. She has three hives and the honey she collects is for family and friends- so, you won't be able to buy or find any (alas). I got to talking with Maria one night and learned a lot about beekeeping, and the ins and outs of being a part-time beekeeper. She's nearly convinced me that I could beekeep in the urban suburbs of Boston. I'm not sure if my neighbors would be too happy to have a hive next door in a tiny postage-stamp yard, but Maria says that they wouldn't notice. I think some of my neighbors (especially the ones in the condos out back) have binoculars at the ready, so I think they'd notice. They notice if I put the trash out too early, after all. I think they'd notice me wearing beekeeping garb puffing smoke into a box. Even so, I'm starting to think about it. Perhaps I could camouflage the hive to look like lawn furniture (a small side table?), or strategically place it so that it is hidden somewhere- in my itty bitty yard, this won't be easy.
But back to Maria's honey. It is a rich, golden color and if you look closely it has small to tiny flecks in it- probably bits of hive that got through the filters. It is surprisingly thick and my toothpick is happy to stand in it indefinitely. It has a wonderful texture- very creamy, and it dissolves slowly. It has a fresh first taste of floral and something herby but herby-sweet not herby-bitter. The closest I can think of is that it is like sweet grass. The after taste is subtle, an echo of the first taste and then you are just left with a lingering sweetness. This is a very nice, and somewhat complex honey. I asked Maria what the flower source(s) is/are and she says she can't really say- whatever is in the neighborhood but she did mention that there are raspberry and blueberry bushes nearby. She lives in a quiet, family, suburban neighborhood with some mature trees and some with larger, wilder lots. Next time I'm there I'll walk around and see if I can identify other likely sources. She says she also does two collections a year- spring and end of summer/fall (if I remember properly) and that the sources and subsequently the honey flavor is quite different depending on the season in which it was collected. I'm not sure when the honey I have was collected but it is likely that it is from this summer/fall.
This honey would be great in tea, over hot cereal, on hot toast or anywhere else. I think it might also be a good honey to make honey candies with.
Thanks Maria for sharing some with me!