What would you rather: 100 cups of green tea or one pot of honey?
Actually, that sounds like the way a James Bond villain with a strange taste in health foods might offer to kill you – a choice between the bitter gagging of too many cups of green tea or the sweet nausea of a whole pot of honey. Let’s do some maths and phrase it differently; what would you rather: 10 cups of green tea or the tenth of a pot of honey I have just happily licked my way through?
‘Do you expect me to talk?
‘No-ho-oo, Meester Bond, I expect you tooo die…’
… or perhaps to live forever, given the extraordinary health benefits alleged for this really delicious honey. My New Zealand Beechwood honey says on the label that one 500g pot has as many antioxidants as 100 cups of green tea – and it’s an awful lot tastier.
Though there is still something nagging like a nanny over the sweetness of this honey, that tells you it must be good for you. The smell is warm, buttery and vaguely medicinal; can you imagine heating up some fudge in a pan that had previously been used for a TCP gargle? Then you dip your finger in to the very fluid (some beechwood honeys never crystallise) amber liquid, exactly the colour of Dettol. So it’s no surprise that the taste carries the same slight tang, though we have moved along the scale from phenol to mellowed whiskey.
Given that description, I can’t quite see why I find this honey so extraordinarily more-ish. After all, if I wanted buttery without the medicinal oddness, I could gorge on clover honey; if I wanted mellowed whiskey tones with no phenol I could dip again and again into my pot of vintage honey – perhaps it’s a Puritan streak in me that makes me relish the fact that it should be good for me. Certainly, of all the honeys I’ve reviewed, this one more than any other – apart, perhaps from the lavender honey with truffle – is one I keep going back to for just one more lick of the spoon. Something I have never ever done when I’m drinking green tea.
For more tastes and more honey, see my book Travels in Blood and Honey; becoming a beekeeper in Kosovo, published last year by Signal Books