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Varietal Honey Tasting and potluck!

  • Dec 8, 2012 · 6:00 PM
  • This location is no longer available

Explore unusual honey varieties in a "honey-tasting"! We will sample different varietal honeys, including some local flavors closer to home, and discuss how regional food fits into the slow-food movement. Information, discussion, handouts and Q & A will be part of this as well.

The honey menu will emphasis raw honey produced from different regions of the US. The list will include Washington Buckwheat, Virginia Sourwood, New Mexican Tamarisk, Florida Tupelo, Maine Blueberry, Wisconsin Cranberry, California Black Sage, and possibly some locally produced wildflower honey varieties! If you have a unique honey, feel free to bring a sample to share!

Come learn about how honey and food can strengthen community identity. We can also talk about different forms of honey (raw, spun, crystallized, etc). Since this is a tasting/potluck, feel free to bring whatever bites, drinks, and/or foods you'd like to share. Different cheeses, wines, chocolates, and other wonderful indulgences (from local sources, if possible) are all good ideas!

The tasting and talk will run from 6-8. If folks would like to hang around after for further discussion and food, feel free!

A donation of $10-20 to cover the costs of the varietal honeys, etc is requested.

Parking is on the road alongside the apartment house (its a large home separated into a few apartments).

More about Kelly Allen:

For the last five months, I have been studying sustainable agriculture, beekeeping, and permaculture through Goddard College in Vermont. The bulk of my work has focused on the practical, cultural, ethical, medicinal, and economic aspects of small-scale, sustainable beekeeping. I’ve worked alongside Amy Antonucci in her apiary in Barrington, tending bees, extracting honey, talking bee-talk, and learning about the beauty of permaculture as a model for agricultural and social cohesion. Together, we’ve explored the dark depths of honey-laden supers (spelunking for elusive queen bees), poured over frames of amber honey, golden pollen powder, and dun colored brood, tossed ducks, seaweed, and (well-aged) manure, and had wonderful discussions in between.

As my semester draws to a close, I’d like to take what I’ve learned and apply it to my community, using local/regional food to establish a supportive social atmosphere. My hope is to take honey, a ubiquitous sweetener and almost global resource, and use it as an example of how valuable diversity is in crop cultivation, resource management, and in human culture. In an intensely industrialized and globalized world, it’s time for us to take a step back and reevaluate the real costs of production and how we can alter the supply/demand merry-go-round.
So let’s gather together for good food, nice drinks, great conversation, and of course…fabulous honey!

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  • Amy A

    Lots of fun - and delicious! Even though I am a lover of honey and use it a lot, it really was a different experience to try a bunch of them and compare. The conversation was also wonderful. Thanks to Kelly for putting this together and to all who participated!

    December 9, 2012

    • Patricia M.

      a really nice gathering, great food, great conversation with people who really care about the same things I do. I think I found my people! :-)

      December 9, 2012

    • Karen

      Agreed . Great time and I learned a lot!

      December 9, 2012

  • Patricia M.

    enjoyed it! can't wait to learn more about bees. see y'all at the movie night.

    December 9, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent! Really nice people and some TERRIFIC food.

    December 9, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    When I arrived home after the meetup, I found the two missing honeys waiting in my mailbox, delivered sometime after I left around 4:30!

    December 8, 2012

  • Karen L.

    So sorry, babysitter issues, I won't be able to make it.

    December 8, 2012

  • John H.

    Based on Karen's endorsement (?) I'll be coming with two Brazilian honeys. I'll be the envy of all the guys. The honeys are raw, organic and gluten-free. One is made by Killer Bees with big scary stingers, and the other is from just regular jungle bees with nice stingers. Shouldn't be any scarier than trying my meads out of Mason jars. Hope the honeys add to the grand mix provided by Kelly and others.

    December 8, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey Everyone,
    just is case anyone has trouble finding my father's house, you can feel free to call my cell phone:[masked] or Andrew's phone:[masked]

    December 8, 2012

  • Joss R.

    My wife is attending with me, and she has to avoid gluten, including cross-contamination. Will this be problematic with the honey tasting pairings?

    December 8, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      None of the dips, honeys, drinks, or bite-size foods that I am providing have gluten in them or were directly exposed to gluten (though I work with flour in my kitchen and did so during the prep for the tasting). I have breads and a pesto tort that all contain gluten. There should be safe food items. :)

      December 8, 2012

  • John H.

    Looks like we're covered! I saw a raw/organic Brazilian rainforest-wildflower in Portsmouth this evening that I volunteer to bring.. although I wouldn't want to p*** THOSE bees off.

    December 7, 2012

    • Karen

      Why not, John? are they agressive bees? Big bees with scary stingers? Have you got an image or video?! Here are two questions that I have going into this: 1.) will the variation in flavor be subtle or pronounced? 2.) do health benefits vary? (i.e., Brazilian rainforest wildflower is moisturing for your skin while sourwood is good for indigestion?

      December 7, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey everyone! So three more of my honeys came in, which means that the tasting is a go! I was repeatedly assured over the phone that the final two (the sourwood and tupelo) would arrive by tomorrow, so I have my fingers crossed. Currently, I have tamarisk, buckwheat, blueberry, and black sage. I also have small amounts of maine wildflower and local NH wildflower that I purchased previously.

    December 7, 2012

    • Karen

      YEAH!!!

      December 7, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Just an update: some of the honey's are a little delayed. Hopefully they will all arrive by saturday! I'll keep you all posted on their status!

    December 5, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Another thought would be exploring other native sweeteners to the US, such as different varieties of maple syrup. I wouldn't make it a focus, but it would widen the arena of how we are approaching the American palate.

      December 7, 2012

    • Karen

      Since you are the host Kelly my vote is to leave the final decision to you. One thought about the honey that John could bring is that if they are not raw we might want to still try them as a point of comparision on the culinary-flavor spectrum and then for raw vs cooked/heated. Diff maple syrups could work too.

      December 7, 2012

  • John H.

    Kelly, If you are short due to non-delivery as of say 4pm Friday PM, I can bring a Tupelo and/or an exotic-sounding Italian honey (forget the name) that I saw at Philbrick's in Hampton last night.

    December 6, 2012

    • Karen

      How very nice of you John. I'm curious, were these raw honey?

      December 6, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hey John, the honey still has a little time, so I'm holding my breath here. If I find that I do need honey, I'll echo Karen here and suggest that you see if it's raw or not.

      December 7, 2012

  • John H.

    In the discussion, I'd be interested in learning more about the economics and logistics of small-scale beekeeping. For example, what population of bees is required to produce a pound of honey. And, how does honey compare with our other indigenous sweetener, maple syrup, in terms of sustainability and environmental costs per pound. BTW the mead I'm bringing is a blend (5 parts honey, 1 part local maple).

    December 1, 2012

    • Patricia M.

      Hi, i wonder if anyone in the group is a beekeeper? I have a coworker who began last year to keep bees, what about a spring trip to his farm to see his process?

      December 2, 2012

    • Amy A

      Hi Patricia & others, I am a beekeeper and can talk about that on Saturday night. I offer a beekeeping class every spring through this meetup. A tour would be another possibility... also going to see your friends place to get another perspective is certainly possible. Where is his place?

      December 5, 2012

  • John H.

    After reading the Ailments & Cures link on the Honey Trivia website suggested by Karen, I've decided to bring a pint or two of my dry ciders and we can see if anyone reports a Miracle Cure... apparently it should help with pairings! (link, http://www.captainjohnshoney.com/cures.htm) ... apples were from Stratham so they should have extra locality magic.

    December 5, 2012

    • Karen

      Looking forward to trying those ciders, John!

      December 5, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Just to be clear, I want people to know that this is supposed to be a celebratory sort of event. I'd like to keep things pretty relaxed and not dwell too heavily in the technicalities of certain sustainability topics. There will be ample time for discussion as we meet and mingle, to be sure!

    1 · December 3, 2012

    • Karen

      My friends and I are really looking forward to this meet up. The cook and the gardener in me is psyched! From what I've learned on various foodie & cooking websites THE thing to pair with different honey is different cheese. (I will be bringing a blue cheese in addition to the pumpkin bread pudding.) PS Has anyone seen this honey trivia site? http://www.captainjoh...­

      December 4, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      That's great to hear! I think we're on the same page! And that's super fun website! Thanks for sharing!

      December 5, 2012

  • John H.

    I'm a brand-new member but live close by in Exeter so I won't let a little chilly air keep me away! I'm planning to bring several pints of my light, dry mead and a raspberry/peach streusel from a German recipe. I'll have to check my notes to recall what honey I used to make the mead, although the experts in this group can probably tell from tasting and color.

    November 29, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      We would love to try your mead and I don't think anyone will say no to a streusel either! It will be interesting to see how the varietal honeys pair with the mead.

      November 30, 2012

  • Karen

    To help folks plan for the pairing it may help to know that 2 of my friends are planning to bring wine and another cheese. I was going to bring a pumpkin bread pudding with raisins and nuts--I usually make a maple or brown sugar sauce for it but I figured I'd leave that out and let us try it with honey! Also, I once had an extraordinary honey-cheese-wine pairing as a last course at a Bordeaux wine dinner party that went something like this: French sauterne (a white dessert wine) served with blue cheese dressed with some honey laced with truffle oil. I happen to have truffle oil if this appeals to enough folks and I can arrange for one of the wines to be a sauterne and the cheese to be blue! Just say the word.

    November 28, 2012

    • Karen

      Perhaps to balance the wonderful sweets that folks are planning on I will scrap the pumpkin bread pudding and bring something more savory. Kelly, can we warm things in in an oven?

      November 29, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes, you can warm things in the oven. Also, no one should feel pressured to bring overly complicated dishes. If you enjoy cooking and want to bring something more complicated, do so. If you would rather bring something simple, then by all means take that route! Do whatever is comfortable. There are no expectations aside from having fun!

      November 30, 2012

  • c.t. g.

    i thought I would bring corn bread-for 20 people?
    and something else undetermined- finished moving from my studio today so am too tired to think-Is this meal food or just nibblys?
    As I don't drink so will bring something-
    Cleone

    November 28, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Corn bread sounds great Cleone. I think this is probably going to turn out to be a little bit of both: meal foods and nibblys that is. People are welcome to bring whatever they would like and I don't want people to feel starved or limited. However, there probably will be more of a focus on foods that are easy to disseminate and share rather than sit-down, eating-type things. I hope that helps somewhat.

      November 28, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    It might be a good idea for people to possibly share what they are thinking for bringing along, just to give others an feel for what they might also want to bring! I'm still determining what I will be providing myself. I have the honey, of course, some first-time homemade wines, and pairing combinations. I will probably also be providing basic foodstuffs and drinks! Andrew is still deciding on his contribution!
    Also, I'm still learning myself, so if anyone has information about honey, terroir, localism/localisation, ect that they would like to share, feel free to bring that part of your brain with you (handouts might also work).

    1 · November 28, 2012

  • Karen

    I have many questions about cooking with and the health bennies of honey so i look very forward to attending this event. Are members allowed to bring a friend?

    November 25, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Bring your questions and your friends! This is all about sharing the diversity of honey in a night of good company!

      November 25, 2012

    • Karen

      Great, thanks Kelly.

      November 25, 2012

  • K. M.

    Are there any guidelines for the PotLuck? :)

    November 23, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Nope! Whatever you'd like to bring will be appreciated! We can even try to figure out which honeys pair best with what you have. It can be a "tasting test!"

      November 24, 2012

  • Boiester

    ah we just did the varietals at the Greater Newburyport Edible Garden Group! Have a great event.

    November 23, 2012

  • A former member

    A former member changed the date and time to Saturday, December 08, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    November 21, 2012

  • A former member

    A former member changed the location for this Meetup

    November 21, 2012

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