Well, honey, here are some stories. I have told some to the honey man at the farmer’s market, and it always surprises me that the various people there have not heard them.
Honey is used for a variety of purposes. For example, it is good for burns. It soothes the burn and helps it heal. My mother used to make hot lemon and honey for us when we had colds. It has many other uses, but mostly it just tastes good.
Most people have heard of honey being found in sealed amphora in ancient shipwrecks. Amazingly, the honey was still good.
I went to Kiev some years ago for a wedding and at one point a few of us were walking around a tourist hall where people were selling handmade items and other things, including honey. My friend was Turkish and in Turkey all the honey is liquid. The honey I bought was creamy. She told me it was not any good because it was not liquid. Actually, it was better because I could travel back to Turkey with it in my bag. Liquid honey would have been asking for a sticky situation. I was struck that she had probably never heard the ancient shipwreck story, even though parts of Turkey are actually ancient Greece, not to mention a host of other cultures. All of whom probably used honey.
In fact in Turkey there are stories about the honey from a certain place on the Black Sea. In general the Karadeniz is known for its honey, as well as cheese, hazelnuts and tea. Apparently this honey is from rhododendron. It has a sort of hallucinogenic effect on those who eat the honey. I never tried any.
I learned to like comb honey (bal) in Turkey. One spreads it on toast like regular honey, only it is a chewier. Some people suck the honey out to chew the wax. The last time I bought comb honey in Turkey, I bought it in this can. It cost about $30. Here the same amount would probably be three times that amount.
When I lived in rural Oregon, I sometimes went to a honey man way out in the undulating farmlands leading to the coastal range. He was probably in his 70s and had a younger indigenous wife. He had wildflower honey and also specialized in poison oak honey for loggers. Poison oak is an itchy undergrowth with yellow flowers. The bees would make honey from those flowers, but not very much of it. The honey man let me taste it– it was full of tannic acid so tasted like very sweet tea. He would not sell me any, however, as the loggers ate the honey to help build up resistance to the poison oak.
When I was growing up we ate clover honey. The creamy honey came in these honey cans. Now from the honey man I can get clover honey, buckwheat honey, and even blueberry honey, which does indeed have a hint of blueberry in its flavour. I can also get pollen and comb honey.
So, a few sweet stories for you about the not so mundane honey.