If you’re trying to expand your cooking knowledge and recipe repertoire, one of your most basic kitchen staples, honey, is the food to go to. Honey can add a sweet edge to anything, from meat marinades to cake flavorings. Even plain butter benefits from the addition of some mild honey to make a delicious but simple spread. Honey is available in several different flavors, some of which are easy to find at your local store. However, clover honey remains the best option if you want to add a “classic” honey flavor.
Using honey made from other flowers will give your foods a much different taste. Orange blossom honey, for example, is known for its orange-y, citrus-y flavor. If you use orange blossom honey in foods, you’ll get a definite orange taste lingering in your mouth. But if you want the taste the people tend to think of as “honey,” you want clover honey.
Most Common Honey
Most of the honey produced commercially in the United States is clover honey. Bees can make honey from any nectar they pick up, but large commercial operations tend to cluster around vast clover fields because as bee season progresses, bees need more and more food to build up their hives. The season starts with bees grabbing pollen from nut and fruit trees, but all the honey produced then is used up by the bees themselves.
By the time tree-pollination season is over, the hives are big and need a good food source. Enter the clover fields in the upper Midwest, especially North Dakota. The bees feed on the clover nectar but no longer need the honey. Hence, vast amounts of clover honey are available to humans. That means clover honey is easy to find and reasonably priced. It doesn’t need refrigeration and has an amazing shelf life.
Use clover honey to flavor butter, along with a little cinnamon. Add clover honey to a chicken marinade to create a sticky, sweet coating and the chicken bakes. Or, just drizzle a little honey on a biscuit for a quick snack. You can even mix honey with sugar syrups to create an even milder honey-flavored dessert topping.
Experiment, but Keep Clover Close
Clover honey is available in just about every store and online as well. Local producers can usually verify where the bees went to get their nectar, plus, if you buy from a local producer, you support local farms. Definitely experiment with other honey flavors, including wildflower, macadamia, and others. But always keep some clover honey on hand.Read More