My friend who came to visit me this weekend was just in France for a wedding, and Paris for a short holiday. As birthday and housewarming presents she brought me many things, which were all wonderful, but my eyes lit up when I opened one package and found a jar of honey from Paris. Sunflower honey (has a slightly nutty flavor). She had found a store in Paris entirely devoted to honey. That would be my dream store.
I LOVE honey. Clover honey from the supermarket is fine, but look around for others. My favorites are the darker ones - Wildflower honey, buckwheat honey. These can be found in the United States - from farms are the best. I once bought Tupelo honey because of the song from Van Morrison, but it was very similar to clover honey. For my old job I used to travel internationally and when possible I would buy honey in whatever country I was in. (I did that several times before finally checking with the US Customs Service to see if it's ok, and surprisingly it is.) My favorite was/is from Brazil: honey from the cashew flower. (Did you know there's a cashew fruit? They make juice from it and mostly keep it in country. It's very nice.) When I was in San Francisco there was a special honey I saw which was $50 for a jar and I was SOOOO tempted to buy it, but resisted somehow.
To best taste the flavor, I tend to put it in steamed milk. You would think I'd like it on various body parts, but really I only like it on fingers and lips - might be the salt that gets mixed in otherwise, which really doesn't do it for me. My favorite term of endearment from a boyfriend was MHMB (my honey my baby) - 10,000 points if you guess which song that's from.
How do bees make honey? (I must admit, after seeing the animated Bee Movie, I feel a little guilty eating honey, but not so much that I'll stop.)
Of course, since bees are part of the environment, there's a crisis. Species and populations are disappearing at an alarming rate - which of course doesn't only affect honey production, but also pollination. I just found a really cool site that Haagen-Dazs has created to call attention to the issue and help the bees. It's interactive and interesting and cute - TAKE A LOOK.