Honey, honey, honey. Having spend every other day with my grand parents as a child, I always took it for granted that a full jar of delicious honey was readily available at our breakfast table. My grandparents always preferred the kind that had that natural creamy, light color and opaque texture and came from an acquainted beekeeper. To be honest, back then I didn’t touch those jars at all. As a kid my hands usually reached out for the golden, more liquid and transparent “Lagnese” honey (a brand) – my grandma could beg as much as she wanted to, I wouldn’t touch her “tenacious stuff” with a ten foot pole. Maybe you already see a pattern… Of course, today, I love this rather robust, more white/beige than golden, creamy honey – it’s best when it comes directly from the producer.
The happier I was when I discovered the Honigstüberl (honey snuggery?) which is located right down at Viktualienmarkt and carries all sorts of honey and honey related products. Across several shelves you can find honey in virtually all shapes and forms – small jars, which are great for sampling, as well as their XXL siblings. On my first visit I tried to describe to the owners what I was looking for and they recommended dandelion honey, which became a standard ever since.
Fortunately, this month’s installment of Sugar High Fridays SHF#10: Oh Honey, You Shouldn’t Have!, hosted by Nic over at bakingsheet, gave me the opportunity to revisit Honigstüberl and immerse again in the multitude of honey variations and their distinctive flavors.
In general Oliver and I prefer honey straight from the jar either on toast, on a fresh roll (German Brötchen/Semmel) or with Greek yoghurt and roasted nuts for breakfast. To expand our horizon on the broad variety of honeys we left with no less than 7 jars of honey, including cinnamon, pine nut, lavender, coconut, sunflower, strawberry and pistachio flavors – sounds like a lot, but they’ll be gone by the time the next post is up, since we chose the tiniest size of available jars. Our favorite is the pine nut honey which has a very smooth texture, a subtle nutty taste and great dark auburn color. The least tasty ones where the strawberry and pistachio honey (both produced in Sicily), simply too sweet. The coconut honey was a major letdown, too, it felt like biting on sugar crystals – it had a really strange texture. A little treat we discovered right on the counter, honey flavored gummy bears. Even their shape was different, one piece always meant a couple of gummy bears holding hands (or paws). A few hours later when I asked Oliver about the gummy bears, his only excuse was, “they were so good and it was just a small bag” – he basically inhaled them.
We had also asked for eatable honeycomb, but what we were offered wasn’t exactly what we had in mind. It had way too much wax all over it. Not being overly convincing, the store owner assured us that it was perfectly safe to eat it, too. We didn’t buy it, and neither the waxy honeycombs.
Back home we experimented a bit with roasted figs topped with ricotta, alternatively with Greek yogurt, pine nut honey and ground roasted pecan nuts on top – very yummy, but wouldn’t necessarily qualify as a recipe. So in essence with all the honey at our disposal we’re looking very much forward to the round-up which I’m sure will bestow us with a plethora of wonderful recipes and options to try out.