Tuesday, May 22, 2012
The Rata honey I have is from New Zealand. It is processed and distributed by Airborne in Leeston, which is located southwest of Christchurch. Airborne were early New Zealand honey producers (1910-1997) but now concentrate on processing and distributing other apiarists' honey. The company was started with 50 hives in 1910 by William Bray and Alfred Barrett. In 1997 they had grown to having 6,000 hives but then decided to shift the focus of the company to processing, marketing and distributing other people's honey. From their website, they state that they are now one of the largest honey processing and exporting companies in New Zealand. They have a wonderful website with a great history of the company: http://www.airborne.co.nz/history.shtml They process a lot of floral honey, but from flowers I've never heard of: Vipers Bugloss (must look out for this one!), Kamahi, Rewarewa, and Tawar to name a few. They also make honey lozenges with anti-bacterial properties from Manuka and honeydew honey varieties. Apparently Manuka, Honeydew and Thyme honeys contain higher levels of antibacterial activity and antioxidants than most other varieties, making them of interest to health conscious people. They also produce a special line of honeys designed to be used in tea(?) and another in coffee(?). I'm not sure what this is all about (if you know, please leave a comment!).
Monday, May 7, 2012
I got this honey online from The Bee Folks (http://www.beefolks.com/) out of Mount Airy, MD. I've blogged about honey I've bought from them before (see Radish honey). They have a great website and sell LOTS of different kinds of honey (as well as other things related to honey and bees). It is a family affair that started in 1997 with two hives in their backyard and has now grown to 2 acres and a small business. If you are looking for quality honey that you may not be able to easily find elsewhere, I'd recommend them (I've never seen (American) bamboo, or meadowfoam honey anywhere else). Almond honey, not surprisingly, comes from almond tree flowers. According to Wiki, almond trees are part of the Prunus family- the same as peaches, plums and cherries but rather than have a fleshy fruit it has a a seed coat (the hull) containing the edible kernel (what we think of as the almond nut). Being part of the Prunus family the almond is not truly a nut at all, but a 'drupe', along with peaches, plums and cherries. A drupe is a fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell (the pit) of hardened endocarp with a seed (kernel) inside; although for the almond you have to use your imagination a little for the fleshy fruit bit as mentioned above. So now you can impress you friends and family by using 'drupe' in a sentence ("Can't wait for the hot days of summer when drupes are at their peak ripeness.").