Ever since I made the switch from coffee to tea, I've been eating more honey than I ever have in my life. I've always loved the stuff—it's especially delicious drizzled on chunks of fresh Parmesan cheese--and I know that it has health benefits, too. But I didn't quite realize the huge differences between real-deal local honey and the kind you buy in the plastic bear at the grocery store. That is, until I got to talk with the awesome people at Negley & Son Honey for work.
Negley & Son is based in Arcadia—just up the road from Sarasota—and produces raw, unheated, unfiltered honey from their more than 1,000 beehives. It's a full-scale commercial operation, but it's incredibly responsible in terms of the production process (if you want to know why thats's important, read this post on my friend Megan's blog), and it truly is a family business: proprietor Mark Negley's father and grandfather were both apiary inspectors, and Negley has been helping tend to beehives since he was a kid (he's 24 now. Twenty-four. HelloIFeelInadequate.com). I got the chance to sit down with him last week for work, and I'll share the piece I worked on when it's published in our May issue.
But the honey. Oh, you guys, the honey. It's delicious. I've gone through two bottles of the orange blossom varietal in about two-and-a-half weeks, thanks to my insane tea consumption, and it's so different than the stuff in the plastic bear—the flavor is deeper and more complex (you can really taste the floral notes), and the texture's different, too—less smooth, but in a good way. If you can get your hands on it, do. There's no website just yet, but I have it on good authority that www.negleyhoney.com will be up and running very soon.
Do you love honey as much as I do? My other sweetener of choice is agave nectar—I've been working really hard to cut back on refined sugar and all the fake stuff.
Photo by Artisan Cheese Company