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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dandelion (Pissenlit) Honey, Rucher des Framboisiers, Maria, Gaspesie, Canada

Before I got this honey I had no idea there was such as thing as Dandelion Honey. Who would have thought? But I suppose dandelions do have flowers, and where there are flowers there is the potential for honey. And, happily, it is a wonderful honey- one of my favorites. I got this jar in a Provigo supermarket in St. Lambert, Quebec. It is one of many varieties of honey supplied by Rucher des Framboisiers out of Maria in the Gaspésie (North of the most Easterly and Northern part of New Brunswick).

According to their website ( ) Rucher des framboisiers is an organic family business that produces 10 different floral varieties of honey (of which one is dandelion), 4 types of honey wine (mead), pollen, candles, and wax figures. I had no idea there were varieties of mead, either. In case you are curious they produce: Sack mead, Dry mead, Raspberry melomel, and Choke cherry melomel. In fact, one of the varieties of their mead received the silver medal at the "Coupe des Nations 2001"- although they didn't specify which one. I've never tried mead, but now I'm keen!

In addition to all of the honey products that they offer, the gardens from which the honey is collected are open to the public during the summer, and the boutique also offers tastings and educational information about bees, and all things related to honey production. They seem to have a very nice set up; if you ever find yourself in the Gaspésie you might want to check them out.

From their website I also learned what propolis is. It is a brown, sticky resinous substance found in hives produced by bees from the resin of some trees (poplar trees for one). You can chew it and when you do, it has a tingling, numbing effect. It can be found in some creams to treat wounds and skin ailments, and in lozenges/sprays to treat sore throats. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties so it may promote healing and act as an antiseptic. The Rucher des Framboisiers sells propolis by the gram, if you ever want to try it.

Dandelion honey has the same golden mustard yellow color as sunflower honey, but clear rather than opaque. It has a heady floral aroma reminiscent of dandelions.It is a rich, warm, mellow honey, a little on the sweet side, with a pure, simple, uncomplicated honey taste, and a very subtle after taste of what I can only describe as dandelions. Very satisfying. Perfect on hot, buttered toast, in tea, hot cereal and for baking.

The Rucher des Framboisiers are located at 1059 Dimrock Creek, Maria, Quebéc, Canada.

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