Have you seen the promos for the new Winnie the Pooh movie out today? It's so utterly nostalgic, (dare I even say cute?) capturing even the hearts of grown men.
Focusing on Pooh, he's the king of honey. You could also say that he's one BIG foodie. (Have you seen his belly? The true sign of a food connoisseur.) I could definitely hang with him.
Hell, I'm sure he'd know all the tricks of the trade -- type of bees that make the best honey, the best tasting honey and how to store the procured honey (I bet he'd say pots).
Pooh was too busy for an interview, but luckily here are 10 really cool facts to impress even the most bonafide honey lovers. To learn even more, reference Mieli Thun's Dictionary of Honey from Nomadic Bees.
1. Honey has been around for millions of years, being referenced in the Egyptian hieroglyphics, by the Greeks and Romans, the Bible, and even by such famous writers as Homer and Dante. Excerpt: "According to Greek legend Pythagoras fed on honey alone in both the spiritual and bodily sense."
2. Hydromel? We know it today as mead. It is the oldest fermented drink and commonly referred to as the 'drink of the gods'. While it is be made by fermenting a water and honey solution, the end product will be different based on the type of honey you use. Each honey produces its own particular taste i.e. flowery, spicy, vegetable.
3. The word quintessence is important to many in the honey world. It is the desire to tell the whole world about artisan honey and there is a whole school of thought that aim to begin a real honey renaissance. Quintessence is also referred to as cru, in the same way that the wine world uses it. When a honey product contains the label quintessence, it means that it is the purest form of honey.
4. Bees move and work fast. Heck, their wings flap thousands of times per minute. But when it comes to the production of honey, bees love slow movements. The crystallizing of honey is a slow process.
5. The City of Honey is a honey lover's paradise in Eastern Sicily and consists of a number of communities (Tornareccio, Castel San Pietro, Lavarone, Zafferana Etnea). The area is unique in that most citizens earn their living from apiculture.
6. Honey is vegetarian. Because it is not secreted by bees, it cannot be considered an animal product. Honey is a product that derives from the collection and processing of sugar.
7. Honey is great for your health. Aside from being a natural antibacterial and antioxidant. It's great for dieters seeking a sugary treat. It adds to a balanced diet.
8. The average bee will only make 1/12 teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
9. Honey is in many ways like wine and should be appreciated similar to wine i.e. testing color, viscosity, smell, taste, feel, pairing
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10. The strangest honey you'll ever try: chestnut honey. Chestnut honey is intense and not for the meek in taste. The best description: It's a roller coaster in your mouth.
Color: dark orange almost red
Nose: plant based, tangy
Taste: bittersweet, astringent, tannic, cocoa bean, carob, wet tobacco
Gourmet pairings: Dilute honey in gravy from a roast and pour directly over the slices. Add sparingly to butter to dress pasta.
Wine and beverage pairings: Tannic rich non-fruity wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel) and aged black tea
Word on the street is that it's not just Pooh that loves his honey, apparently Zorro does too.