There are three things we can’t get enough of — honey, bees and lavender. The world’s honey bee population is declining as habitat loss, pesticides, and other unsustainable farming practices are growing. That’s why apiaries and organic farms are starting to gain some traction! Now that more and more micro-apiaries and popping up, more honey varieties are too.
Some people consider themselves wine sommeliers, cured meat connoisseurs, craft brew gurus, and cheese wizards and to each their own! But if you ask us, the missing link to this charcuterie board is honey. Honey has just as much nuance and variety as a glass of wine or wheel cheese and pairs beautifully with both! If you want to refine your honey palate or just learn about the world of honeys in anticipation of next spring’s harvest, you’ve come to the right place!
Varieties of Honey
Just like wine, honeys can be differentiated by region. This is because of the native flowers; just as flowers have different aromas and colors, so does the honey that is made from them. Typically, bees are given free range to explore the woods and wildflowers of whatever region they are in. When bees can pollinate a variety of different plants and flowers, the resulting honey is called a multi-floral variety. Bees can also be introduced to specific farms, like almond farms or our very own lavender farms, to pollinate their crops. The result is a monofloral honey that captures the best flavors of the harvest. Monofloral honeys often have a faint taste of the plant that they originate from.
Forms of Honey
There are also many different forms of honey on the market. The type that you typically see in the grocery store is liquid honey, AKA liquid gold. This is also the type that our lavender infused honeys come in. This form is great for adding a touch of sweetness to drinks, or drizzling over warm spanakopita or cake. Honeycomb is an edible piece of the wax comb produced by the bees. It has a unique “soft crunch” when bitten into and is said to have a surprising number of health benefits including supporting heart health and fighting off infections. Whipped and creamed honeys consist of a partially crystallized honey. Their texture is much thicker than liquid honey and will not ooze when placed on a plate or cheeseboard, making them the perfect addition to charcuterie.
The journey from hive to bottle also influences the taste, texture, and quality of the honey. Unprocessed liquid honeys have the greatest flavor and are said to deliver the most health benefits. However, honey bought from a big name brand, rather than from a local apiary, can lose some of its quality through processing. Filtered honey is by far the most common type of processed honey. In this method, honey is filtered through multiple strains in order to remove a significant amount of its pollen. Removing the majority of the pollen in the honey eliminates its health benefits and makes tracing its floral origin much more difficult. It also causes the honey to crystallize more quickly. (Luckily, this can be easily reversed by placing the jar in warm water.) If you want to switch things up regarding texture, liquid honey can also be processed into creamed or whipped honey while still keeping what honey lovers appreciate most. Creamed honey is made by controlling its crystallization process to make a thicker, spreadable honey. The honey is not exposed to harsh heats or filtration, leaving the pollen intact.
The Bees and Lavender Behind our Honeys
We are proud to share a variety of honeys from our first successful lavender harvest! We work in partnership with a local apiarist to raise happy, healthy bees and create both multifloral lavender-infused honeys and a one- of-a-kind monofloral lavender honey.
Our Lavender-Infused Wildflower Honey reflects the best flavors and florals that West Virginia has to offer. Our bees are given free range over a variety of native plants to create their wildflower honey. Then, we infuse it with our organically grown lavender for an added floral taste. Our Lavender-Infused Goldenrod Honey is also made from wildflowers and is exceptionally rich and sweet as it is the last harvest of the season. Lastly, our midsummer lavender harvest is when we produce our rare and highly sought-after Monofloral Lavender Honey. Compared to the infused honeys, this one has a much lighter lavender flavor. It sold out extremely fast this year, so make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to be one of the first to know when it comes out next year!
All of our honeys are pure, raw, and unprocessed to honor the fruits of our bees and lavender fields. We are busy coming up with new ideas for incorporating them into your favorite drinks and desserts to help you get your fix! If you have a honey in your life who might like to try some for themselves, our honeys also make great homegrown gifts. If you’ve graced your kitchen with a jar, let us know how you’re using and enjoying it! You can share your recipes with us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and even Youtube!
MEET THE AUTHOR / ELIZA TALVOLA is a writer from Pittsburgh, PA who considers herself to be a conscious consumer and traveler, slow fashion advocate, and devoted foodie. She is a firm believer in creative reuse and putting people over profits, and is a long time lavender enthusiast. Her favorite product: Lavender Hand Sanitizer Spray