Honeydew Honey

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

Origin

By Ben Shewry

Published 2012

  • About

Beechwood Honeydew is a remarkable single-origin honey. Single origin means that it is made by honeybees exclusively from one region and nectar from only one variety of flower or plant. Creating single-origin honeys is the craft of a highly skilled beekeeper who knows the exact time of year to place the hives close to particular flowering plants so the bees can feast on the floral nectar. Beechwood Honeydew is harvested on New Zealand’s South Island by beekeeper Lorraine Muldoon and blended by my friends Jeremy Friend and Sharyn Woodnorth of J. Friend & Co: NZ Artisan Honey, who have singlehandedly spearheaded a resurgence in the artisanal production of single-variety honeys, using almost-forgotten time-honoured blending and handling techniques. It is people like Jeremy and Sharyn who fight the good fight against mass food production and blandness in a world where everything increasingly tastes the same. What makes Beechwood Honeydew honey so amazing and unique — apart from its incredible flavour — is that, unlike other honeys, it is not created from flower nectar per se. Instead, honeydew is created when tiny insects feed on the sap of the beech tree. The insects in turn excrete drops of sugary liquid that are a particularly attractive energy source for honeybees, native birds and insects alike.

To Finish

  • 2 honeydew melons, peeled
  • 20 wild blackberries
  • 10 g ( oz) freeze-dried blackberries*, crushed
  • 50 g ( oz) J. Friend & Co. Beechwood Honeydew honey

Cut the honeydew melon into 3 cm (1¼ inch) thick pieces, then cut each into ‘honeycomb’ using a 3 cm (1¼ inch) hexagonal cutter and a 2.5 cm (1 inch) hexagonal cutter to cut the centre out.

In the centre of each plate, place 5 honeydew melon honeycombs. Place a wild blackberry in the middle of each melon honeycomb. Using a teaspoon, place a small amount of avocado oil–honey custard in the centre of each melon honeycomb. Divide the crushed blackberries among the plates. Drizzle over a good amount of honey. Fill the melon honeycombs with the peach ice making sure the tops are level. Carefully place a piece of honeycomb pumpkin over each dish.

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