Selecting, Tasting, and Pairing Honey,
With a Guide to More Than 30 Varietals
C. Marina Marchese and Kim Flottum
I must caution you, if you read this book you will go out an buy a jar of single origin honey. The author's passion and the alluring illustrations give you no choice. Author and beekeeper Carla Marina Marchese founded Red Bee Honey (https://www.redbee.com)which currently markets 24 different single origin honeys and a variety of products made from honey. Marchese has trained as a honey sensory expert and is the first American accepted as a member of the Italian National Registry of Experts in the Sensory analysis of Honey.
Co-author Kin Flottum has trained as a horticulturist, worked in the USDA Honey Research Lab, published several books on th care of beers and has been the editor of Bee Culture (https://www.betterbee.com) for at least 25 years.
The authors' knowledge and understanding of honey ranges from the flower to the plate. The introduction touches on the social history of bees and bee keeping and what bees are up to. They discuss the making of honey from the bee to the jar covering how bees make honey, the harvest of honey, the types of honey and the other products of the hive. Their chapter on the terroir of honey is especially fascinating as is their discussion of soil types and climate and how these impact bees and the plants they thrive on. The core of the book covers honey plants with solid information on both the plants the the honey bees make from them. This portion of the book will interest anyone seeking knowledge of single origin honeys and should also interest fans of meads made from these honeys. The chapter of tasting honey and the sensory analysis of honey is especially good and will help mead drinkers better understand the honey in their mead. Their chapter on pairing honey sparked insights on pairing meads. The authors caution that honey is one of the most adulterated food products currently sold, discussing problems with honey from poor handling to issues of doctored or fake honey. They finish by instructing he reader how to select good, quality honey. I found this book in the public library and after the first chapter I bought a copy of my own. If you have any interest in anything honey related, you probably will too. If you are studying for the Beer Judge Certification Program Mead Exam, you want to read this book.
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