Color, consistency, taste: there are many criteria for choosing the honey to buy, but we have never thought of that of thepairing with drinks and food? Honey is not only a healthier sweetener with which to sweeten tea, coffee or even desserts, it is a real precious food which you can use in the kitchen like ingredient, in sweet and savory dishes. And then, we even learned to combine pizza and wine, why should we never know how to match the taste notes of bee food with herbal teas, beers and cheeses & c.?
Help in this sense comes from Mielizia, historical brand of the National Beekeepers Consortium, which this year extinguishes 40 candles. So let's see some types of honey and the suggestions to couple them better.
A premise: there is the wildflower honey and the monoflora, flowers present in the different territories, each with its own taste, aroma and unique color. Let's start with the millefiori.
There is the classic and generic wildflower it is the purest and most authentic expression of the collection area and is the meeting of many honeys, as many as possible combinations of blooms. IS versatile, is the first that is put into milk and is spread on bread with butter. The most suitable cheeses are those fresh and soft like taleggio, ravaggiolo and squaquerone, perhaps together with dried fruit. Beers: Pilsner and Tripel. Recipes: try it on the swordfish, with fresh tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and new potato chips. Finally, it is excellent with the infusion of flowers of karkadé and with the Languages of Cat.
Citrus honey it is a poliflora that marries Stout and Rauchbier beers, the latter distinguished by their smoky flavor. Ideal with i pasta filata cheeses such as caciocavallo, scamorza and buffalo mozzarella.
Honey from the forest or honeydew it is liquid and has an intense aroma with spicy notes. It also goes well with the Trappist and fresh cheese beers, primarily the mascarpone. Ideal with black tea, in the kitchen it combines well in recipes with dark spices and vegetables. You could for example prepare a ratatouille by adding a spoonful of honeydew, and serve it with a hot tomino along with the honey itself. Try it in a gentian herbal tea, to be savored with cantucci or with a strudel.
And now let's move on to the monoflora.
Linden honey, long-lived plant with white-yellowish flowers with a pleasant and intense aroma, is a clear honey – ivory-white if crystallized – with a taste sweet and fresh which recalls mountain herbs. It goes well with Barley wine, or high fermentation beer, or Trappist beer. The top cheeses are the Castelmagno and the Bitto. Like hot drinks, it is perfect for an echinacea herbal tea or with the Rooibos, to accompany with Krumiri or a Sacher Cake.
Acacia's honey: generally liquid, clear and refined, reminiscent of flowers, almonds and vanilla berries. Defined by tasters as "confetti", it is good for sweetening many beverages including green tea and chamomile and also for syruping and candying fruit. Great for sweeten the preparations sweet, loves fresh cheeses such as ricotta or blue cheese. There beer it must be clear and light, that is Weisse. Or IPA, or India Pale Ale. Recipes? On friselle, with marinated and orange anchovies. How sweet we choose one ricotta tart or of macaroons.
Coriander honey: it is a crystallized honey clear, sweet and refreshing. It combines well with meat, especially beef and chicken, and with medium aged pecorino cheeses. Good with tea and fruity PAHs.
The chestnut honey, with an intense brown color, it tastes very special and decisive, not suitable for all palates as it can be delicious or stuccoso. Not very sweet, it has a bitter background. The consistency is thick but liquid, in the sense that it is difficult to crystallize. As for beers, we choose the same as for lime honey. As cheeses we choose the Parmigiano reggiano or Castelmagno. And as a recipe for beef meatballs, perhaps seasoned with parsley, Parmesan and nutmeg and a chestnut honey sauce. To prepare it, melt 20 g of butter and brown two chopped shallots, then combine two glasses of amber beer and a glass of chestnut honey. Cook the sauce until it has reduced by half and then whisk it with an immersion blender. Serve with the meatballs still warm. Desserts: cocoa-flavored bisscotti. With aged black tea.
The eucalyptus honey it is a particularly balsamic honey, with beneficial properties in particular against coughs and respiratory ailments. A taste strong and particular, which works with a medium-seasoned pecorino. In the panorama of beers, excellent with those in spelled or with Porter, that is dark beers, obtained with dark colored malt. An ad hoc combination with a hot drink: liquorice infusion. Accompaniment: oat biscuits or ladyfingers.
The strawberry tree honey is the famous "Bitter honey". Perfect with Sardinian pecorino – Sardinia is a privileged production area with artichokes and thistles. In the kitchen try a rice with pecorino and honey of strawberry tree. As for drinks, the ideal beer is the Märzen, a low-fermentation style of the pale lager family and is ideal as an accompaniment to coffee. The right honey to sweeten the purifying teas, to be accompanied with a Paradiso Cake or canestrelli.
Sulla honey, a clear crystallized honey, delicate and very floral, which comes from this spontaneous Mediterranean plant with a beautiful purple-red conical inflorescence, it is a very valid sweetener for tea and infusions. It is also used in the nougat production and desserts in general. However, it can also be combined with savory recipes such as cheeses, it prefers fresh caciotta. Gourmet cuisine: knead one flat bread to which you will add oregano, a few tablespoons of Sulla honey and chopped hazelnuts. Beer? Dortmunder – light Lager beer, moderately hoppy. Use it to sweeten one herbal tea with lavender, to be enjoyed together with Baci di Dama.
Orange honey: a crystallized honey very clear, floral and fruity but pleasantly acid. It is versatile and enhanced in the use cold, mix with yogurt, creams and whipped cream. Also excellent in the preparation of desserts – example: plum cake or torcetti, it is also ideal for imaginative dishes vinaigrette, with raw fish, pasta filata cheeses and even in omelettes. Try it to sweeten a lemon and ginger tea.
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