Honey — to try it is to like it

By SUSAN GREEN / Guest Columnist

Here’s what I know about honey … I love it on a biscuit with some sweet cream butter. I have to admit, I’m not one of those people that puts honey on everything or that tries to substitute honey on general principle; I only put honey in my tea when I have a sore throat. But you can learn a lot about something when you do it enough and with enough diversity and I have discovered that I am getting very picky about what honey I put on my biscuit.

I don’t want to pretend that I know more about honey than I do, but did you know that there are more than 300 varieties of honey in the world? Here’s the way I think about honey: in the same way that one really needs to hold a knife before buying one, tasting honeys really makes sense, too. They’re all so different; you have to try them to see which one fits.

Honey goes with cheese, honey is an excellent base for marinades (it helps the marinade cling to the meat) and you can bake with honey, too. As a general guideline, when baking with honey you can substitute honey for sugar one to one. But, you might need to reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe by a fourth of a cup for each cup of honey in the recipe. You will also need to slightly reduce your oven temperature by 25 degrees Farenheit because honey browns faster than sugar.

Here is a bit of information on some really cool honeys. Acacia honey is very pale and clear and tastes very light and delicate. Highly perfumed lavender honey is primarily from the southeast of France but there are also lavender honeys from California and Spain. Orange Blossom honey is heavily scented with a hint of orange perfume. Savannah Bee Company’s Tupelo honey is my brother Daniel’s favorite. It’s one of America’s rarest and tastiest honeys, gathered only in northern Florida and southern Georgia along the Apalachicola River basin.

On Thursday, March 31, Birmingham Bake and Cook Company will host Linda Franzo for a sweet cooking with honey class. There are still a few spaces available so call me at 980-3662 to register.

Susan Green is the owner of Birmingham Bake and Cook located in Inverness Corners shopping center. She can be reached at 980-3662.