Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting the Red Bee Apiary in Weston CT to attend a Mini Honey Tasting Workshop. Yes, that's right. You read that correctly, not only did we have a mini sampling tasting, but we also had the opportunity to learn about the different flavors and varieties of honey, and have an educational workshop on the hives, honey production, and honey bees.
|The Red Bee Apiary Farm in Weston CT|
|Red Bee Farm is flanked by a classic New England Boundary Rock Fence|
Red Bee Farm is owned and operated by the lovely Marina Marchese, the queen bee of all things honey in Connecticut. All joking aside, Marina truly is the authority on single origin honey, having trained both in Italy and in the States, and is the author of two books on honey, The Honey Connoisseur and Honeybee Lessons from The Accidental Beekeeper. In addition to her work running the Red Bee Apiary Farm, Marina is the founder of Marina’s Honey Sommelier™ a consulting service for restaurants as well as food and beverage industry professionals to guide them on selecting and pairing honey with food and drink. Marina's tastings and workshops are wonderful ways to educate groups on the background of honey and honeybees.
|The passionate Marina explains the origins of her honey to our group|
The Mini-Tasting I attended led us through a rainbow of different honeys, alfalfa, thistle, wildflower, red currant, blueberry, and buckwheat. As you can see, the honeybee's diet, greatly affects the shade of their honey production. In addition, it impacts the honey's flavor. The honey colors ranged from a pale golden to a rich dark caramel color.
|Sensory Tasting and Pairing|
Marina led us though a sensory workshop, instructing us to experience the honey through smell, memory, and taste. In addition, she paired each individual honey with a variety of foods, fruits, cheeses, and chocolate.
With Marina's expert recommendations we paired spicy butterscotch-like thistle honey over a pungent aged cheese, red currant honey drizzled over a rich cheese filled date, and more. The highlight was breaking open a virgin-honeycomb and pairing the freshest honey possible with a rich dark chocolate and bread.
|Yes, you can eat the wax from a honeycomb!|
|Red Bee Hives|
|Red Bee Honey|
Of course, I purchased my very favorite of the day, the Red Currant Honey, and every time I sit at the computer to write this post or edit the pictures, I crave a little taste. I've learned from my Red Bee Tasting to pair it with various foods, and now use my honey frequently as a condiment or dip to bring out the flavors in other foods I'm eating. I've always known about the medicinal purposes for honey. When I have a sore throat or feel a cold coming on I up my intake of organic honey. Now the Red Bee workshop has enhanced my knowledge of honey use and challenged me to pair honey with more and more foods!
You can purchase Red Bee Honey online HERE.
I loved visiting with Marina on her rustic farm in scenic Weston Connecticut. She is a down to earth businesswoman, astute and knowledgeable about her art and craft, and committed to her passion of promoting a natural and eco-friendly way of life, and, of course, beekeeping.
Take an opportunity to participate in one of her informational workshops. See her calendar of events HERE.
For more pictures of my visit to Red Bee Apiary visit the Home Place facebook page HERE
Disclaimer: I was invited to the Red Bee Honey Tasting Event, however, the views and opinions expressed herein are my own.