September 18, 2008

"Stay away from the honey bear."

Fabulous photo from Life is Special's Etsy shop.

I've had an incredibly hectic several weeks, so decided to reward myself with a "Honey and Cheese" class last night at the delightful Murray's Cheese whose little cheesy (in a good way) seminars I highly recommend. Nothing says "Calgon, take me away!" better than a plate of cheese and a couple of glasses of wine at the end of a long day. say you're adding honey to the mix? Hello.

Zeke Freeman from Bee Raw Honey was a pretty fascinating guy. Bee Raw produces single varietal raw honeys, which basically means his honeys are super fancy and actually quite rare (re: expensive). When one of his honey bottles is labelled Orange Blossom honey, those little winged buggers are put on a truck, taken to an organic orange grove in Florida, and kept at that one special grove where all of the honey is then produced. Raw and unfiltered, then bottled. "We take it out of the comb, and put it in the jar. That's all we do," offered Zeke.

So, no; this isn't your supermarket honey bear. Zeke was quick to let us know that we should, "stay away from the honey bear" and all of the processed junk that goes into it. It's basically like choosing Aunt Jemima over Vermont Maple Syrup, I guess (with apologies to Aunt Jemima, who seems like a swell lady).

Does Bee Raw do anything to the honey at all, like, strain it?

"Well, we strain it just enough to get things like wings and other bee parts out."

I really, really wish I hadn't heard that.

Anyway, the honey made interesting pairings with the artisanal cheeses selected. A very pungent, crystallized buckwheat honey was made more palatable by the soft, almost sweet, ricotta it was matched with. We even got a quick lesson on how to make fresh ricotta, but that's not likely to happen in my kitchen any time soon when there's stuff as good as this Calabro Fresh Ricotta to be had. And, wow, did I love Cowgirl Creamery's Red Hawk. It's a brine washed cheese made from organic cows' milk and vegetarian rennet, using sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. Yee haw, cowgirls! Your Red Hawk cheese rocks the rodeo, and sounds like you ladies do, too.

I was pretty excited to be sent on my way with a glass tube of cranberry honey as my parting gift. I tucked the sweet elixir into my palm and got myself on the subway. For some reason, people on the train were looking at me odd. And, come on, it's New York City. I'm certainly not the odd (wo)man out here. Then I thought, "Oh, I have cheese on my face? Honey dripping from my chin?"

It quickly occurred to me that the precious vial of honey I was holding (to avoid it spilling in my bag) looked suspiciously like a vial of urine.

Which is almost as gross as bee wings being strained out of honey.



The Quintessential Magpie (Sheila) said...

LOL, Laura! You are too funny!

That's fascinating about the honey. I wonder where the organic grove is down here in the Sunshine State. I also wonder how they keep their bees contained in one grove.

I'm so glad that organic honey exists. I try to eat organic whenever possible. You're lucky to be close to NYC. What a great city with cool stuff to do and see!

Glad you had fun!


sarah @ a beach cottage said...

too funny, you with the tube of urine lookalike

they reckon it's fantastic for your skin, you know I've always fancied some of the real stuff, a little glug every day...bit late now tho the Aussie sun has zapped my skin

have a good weeekend Laura!


Hooked on Houses said...

Oh. My. Gosh. I just laughed out loud. That's hilarious.

I also wonder if I'll ever be able to eat honey again without thinking about those "bee parts." Yum. -Julia

Maureen said...

Oh, that is so very funny! :)

Jen r. said...


Fifi Flowers said...

Hilarious... you gave me the BEST laugh... that does look a little funny to be carrying around... your adventure sounds interesting!

Anonymous said...

LOL!! it does sound like an interesting seminar though :)

I've just tagged you for a '7 Obscure things about me' meme - hope that's ok?

Courtney said...

LOL...I am just picturing you on the subway with the "vial" in your hand. I bet you freaked a few people out.

On the other hand, now I'm hungry. Perhaps I'll have honey on my toast this morning? (Although mine is the cheap pedestrian variety.) :-)

heidi said...

i'm not sure my vial would have made it home... you show excellent restraint!

j.cro said...

I'm laughing out loud!!!!!!!

What's wrong with the honey bear if it comes from a local spot like the place in NJ? Do you think that processed too?

I'll be really bummed... I like the honey bear.

Rue said...

Hi Laura :)

Now I'm craving honey! LOL That story about you on the subway is too funny :)

Oh and don't worry about me and the house. I'm okay with it now. Painting for someone else is a pain, but if it gets the house sold who cares! Right? Right! ;)


please sir said...

Oh sounds yummy and a little crazy - good thing no one asked about the honey in the purse!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Oh, we just picked up some local honey today. It's great to be able to buy from locals who have their own hives. We have several sources around our town & love the honey!

Pat said...

LOL Laura --it doesw look like urine!

That sen=minar sounds soooo devine! I love cheese honey and wine. Oh my! I'll ahve to check this out.

I brought back wonderful lavendar honey from Ireland and I cherish every drop!

Sorry I haven't been around -- I was in California and then Blogspot acted up when I got back.

Enjoy your weekend!

Hugs, Pat

Bella Casa said...

ROFL! Subway floor, that is!

Wow, I wished I lived in or near NYC, how exciting!

That class sounds so neat...I love Ricotta, so I would have been loving that combo!

Did you ever watch "In Living Color?" Your urine in the vial reminded me of the homeless guy skit from that show...he would walk around with a pickle jar with, uh-hem, something in gross, but so funny, too. That show was a riot!

Have a wonderful weekend:)


Laura B. said...

You're hilarious!

As I was eating my PART SKIM ricotta over here the other night and you're in NYC eatin' the freshness.

That does indeed look like a urine vile. Imagine if you opened it up and drank it or tasted it right there like a shot.

Joanna Goddard said...

wow, this is awesome. thank you! xo

Marie Louise said...

What has the world (NYC in particular) come to if you can't travel with your own urine specimen? People should just stick their noses back into their papers!

kari and kijsa said...

Teehee!!! Highly suspicious...looks a little odd, but we bet it tastes like heaven!!!
Sounds like a fabulous evening!!

kari & kijsa

Anonymous said...

Something worth mentioning is that it looks like Buckwheat honey is the only honey that has been well studied for children’s cold and cough. There are some good reasons why researchers are using buckwheat honey: It is darker and has more antioxidant properties (from phenolics, peptides, organic acids, enzymes, Maillard reaction products, and possibly other minor components) than other honey’s. There is a web site that does a good job of bringing together the scientific research on this. There it has a lot of links directly referencing well respected scientific articles. Check out


Chic and Charming said...

LOL! sounds like a really fun event. Can you taste any cranberry in the honey?