Honey comes in a variety of shades and flavors, all determined by what plants bees have visited as they forage for nectar. Spring honey tends to be lighter and milder; fall honey grows darker and claims more robust flavors. Here are six honeys from local outlets and the best ways to use them.
Bee Natural’s butter bean honey
Nectar from the butter (a.k.a. lima) bean fields of Delaware are the source for this mild, delicate raw honey.
Best uses: Stirred into tea and cocktails, drizzled over roasted spiced nuts
$16, Bee Natural at Reading Terminal Market, beenaturalllc.com
Swarmbustin’ Honey’s chunk honey
This Pennsylvania wildflower honey is packaged with a chunk of the beeswax honeycomb, which is perfectly good to eat.
Pairs with: Warm scones — the comb helps honey spread without dripping
$19, Philly Food Works, 911honey.com
Fruitwood Orchards’ cranberry honey
New Jersey cranberries lend a lightly fruity, tart profile to this raw honey.
Best uses: Whisked into homemade salad dressing, drizzled over citrus fruit
$7, The Fountain Farmers Market, fruitwoodorchardshoney.com
Microbrew Tea Co.’s ‘bear’ honey
Because it’s lightly crystallized, this raw wildflower honey from New Jersey is creamy and spreadable.
Pairs with: Sourdough toast, mild cheeses like young gouda
Hound Dog Honey’s red bamboo honey
Sourced in the fall from Pennsylvania red bamboo (a.k.a. Japanese knotweed), this honey is dark, robust, and raw.
Pairs with: Greek yogurt with fruit, sharp aged cheese like Parmesan
$9.50, The Head Nut at Reading Terminal Market, hounddoghoney.com
Bee Natural’s buckwheat honey
Opaque and assertive, this raw, unfiltered buckwheat honey has intense barnyard-y aromas and a rich, earthy flavor.
Best uses: Incorporated into spiced baked goods like ginger cookies or cinnamon-rich quick bread
$13, Bee Natural at Reading Terminal Market, beenaturalllc.com