Royal Hawaiian Honey

By Sean Timberlake

Supermarket honey is bland and boring as, well, a supermarket. To find something with more character, head to the island—the Big Island. To produce single-source varietal jars of honey, Royal Hawaiian bees visit up to 100 blossoms each time they venture from the hive, harvesting from fields of pure, organic flowers on the remote, pristine slopes on the Kona side of the island of Hawaii. The golden Wililaiki (Christmas berry) tastes of molasses with a spicy kick at the end; the deep amber Macadamia Nut Blossom is decidedly nutty; and the Lehua is pleasantly butterscotchy and faintly floral. Because they’re raw and unfiltered, the honeys may be slightly grainy, but they’re delivering a powerful punch of enzymes and micronutrients (after all, this is what the bees feed their young); most commercial honeys are pasteurized and filtered, stripping away these beneficial components. Now that's sweet.

Tips for Using Honey

For a simple way to perk up your dessert, gently heat honey, then drizzle on baked goods, ice creams, or puddings.

Honey enhances browning, so it’s great for glazing dishes you plan to roast, like chicken or pork.

Use honey in salad dressing—it will help emulsify oil and vinegar.

Oil or spray your measuring cup and honey will easily slide out after measuring without sticking to the cup.

Use a one-to-one ratio when substituting honey for sugar in muffins, pancakes, waffles, and most yeast breads.