This week I visited the annual “Feria de la Miel de Llubí”; a festival celebrating all about honey with a wide variety of sales stalls locally produced honey and honey-based food and cosmetic products. There you will also find tips and all the materials you need to start raising your own bees.
Honey is as old as the story itself. Humans have eaten it, bathed in it, treated wounds, and traded with it since history was recorded. Bees are the primary pollinators in most ecosystems and play a crucial, though often overlooked, role in the food chain. Unfortunately, the number of bees is dropping rapidly due to habitat loss, climate change, invasive species and the use of pesticides and honey production in Spain have slowly declined over the past few years.
Honey comes in many forms: flowing, fixed, wild, farmed, raw, processed. It can be filtered simply to remove bits of wax and bees feet so the end product is perfectly clear. Monofloral, beehive types that pollinate a kind of plant, such as acacia, manuka, and sage, can charge high prices. Clear honey is often easier to use for cooking because it is easier to pour although it tends to crystallize over time; just put the pot in a jug of hot water for about a minute and it will return to its clear, liquid state. Crystallization does not alter the quality of the honey.
It’s easy to see why honey can brighten up so many dishes. You can use it as a sweetener to replace sugar in desserts, drinks, and baking. special affinity with dairy products like yogurt and cheese. In savory dishes, use honey as a delicious glaze for roast pork and root vegetables, or toss a little into the dressing for a delicious dressing.
Here in Mallorca, honey is traditionally served with local sobrasada on toast. I love honey with mustard. I think this is one of those great classic combinations and it’s perfect for the bunny or chicken plus of fresh thyme, rosemary or tarragon. I also love making this simple almond, honey and yogurt cake. It’s a perfect dessert with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Almond, honey and yogurt cake
- 80g ground almonds
- 180g plain flour
- 2 oranges, zested and squeezed
- 180g sugar
- 120g of plain yogurt
- 3 organic or farm eggs
- 125 ml olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of clear honey
- 1½ teaspoon of baking powder
- A pinch of salt
1 heat the oven at 160 ° C rotating heat / thermostat 4. Line a 22cm cake mold with parchment paper.
2 stroke yogurt and sugar in a large bowl and beat one egg at a time.
3 Pour in olive oil, honey and orange juice, zest and mix well.
4 Sift the flour and baking powder in the bowl, add the ground almonds and a pinch of salt, then mix everything gently.
5 Pour in the prepared pan. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
banana, honey and ginger smoothie
For 2 people
- 2 bananas
- 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon of clear honey
- 400 ml plain Greek yogurt
- Juice of 1 orange
- Juice of 1 lime
1 In a blender, combine all the ingredients. Blend until smooth.
Honey Rabbit with mustard and honey
For 4 people
- 2 whole rabbits cut into large pieces
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 250 g pancetta or bacon, cut into large cubes
- 1 large onion, peeled and thickly sliced
- 3 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- 400 ml chicken broth
- 150 ml dry white wine
- 1 generous teaspoon of honey
- 200 ml double cream
- 3 tablespoons of grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons of fresh tarragon, chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Gently brown the bacon until lightly browned.
2 Add the pieces of rabbit, onions, carrots, garlic, bay leaf and thyme.
3 Cover with white wine and chicken broth and slowly bring to a boil.
4 Cover with a lid and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
5 Delete cover and add mustard, cream and honey and boil for a few minutes until thick and shiny.
6 Add chopped tarragon, taste and season with salt and pepper. Use immediately.