French Honey

french honey

I had to put a moratorium on jam-making this year because I realized I had enough jam to last a normal person, who doesn’t have a French partner, at least ten years. (I’m not naming any names, but one Frenchman in particular can go through half a jar at one breakfast alone.) But one thing I can’t make is honey, in spite of the fact that I am certainly capable of giving a nasty sting every once in a while. It wasn’t until I moved to France that I fell in love with the stuff.

When I led tours, I’d bring guests to honey shops and people would just kind of look around – or look over me, perhaps wondering when we were getting to the chocolate – as I started to explain fabulous wonders of French honey. And am not sure how convincing I was, but since I have a captive audience here (don’t touch that mouse!), as well as a cabinet-full of the stuff, I decided that as I started to clean out my honey larder, I’d also come clean about my love for the stuff.

Various honeys are said to have various properties. I don’t sit down to breakfast and think about all the polyhydroxy phenols and bioflavonoids, or how my body is going through phagocytosis or endocytosis while I eat my toast and sip my orange juice and wonder how the heck I’m going to make it through another day. (And I have nothing against polyhydroxy pheols or phagocytosis, it’s just that they’re not popular topics at my breakfast table.) On the whole, I eat pretty healthy stuff and am not one to think about the health benefits of food. I don’t need justification, ie: antioxidants, to eat chocolate. I just eat it – and thinking that you’re going to get healthy from eating cheesecake because you put a tablet of vitamin C in it is kind of ridiculous, if you ask me. So geez, just eat!

My philosophy is to eat a variety of things, avoid too many packaged foods, and always choose butter over margarine. (And wine over soda.) So when someone tells me that a particular honey may be good for my urinary tract, it’s kind of the last thing (or place) I like to think about when eating. I’d rather think about how good it tastes. However before I step down off my soapbox, honey is a good, healthy, pure food, and adding a generous spoonful to your diet every once in a while will make you a happier person. At least it does in my case.

two honeys

The French love honey and give it a lot more respect than most of us do in the states. It’s sold by variety, where it’s cultivated, the terroir, by producer, and if it’s crystallized or not. Because it was recently revealed that a great deal of honey is mislabeled, or worse, adulterated, one has to look at labels. Fabriqué en France or Recolté en France (Made in France, or Harvested in France) are different from Elaboré en France or Transformé en France (Processed in France) – and not just on honey, but on other food products. I once bought what I thought was honey at a Middle Eastern market and when I got home, and have my glasses, I looked at the label carefully and saw that it was glucose aromatisé (flavored) with honey.

The one on the left, up above, is one I get from a favorite apicultrice who is at the Marché des Producteurs that takes place annually in Paris, and her honey is the first thing I pick up. Ok, I lied. It’s the first booth I go to, but I do the rest of my shopping, then stop back there just before leaving because the amount of honey that I buy isn’t all that light. And the other jar is from a trip to the Jura, which I haven’t opened, but I loved the dark color and since I have a crush on that region, I like having a souvenir in my kitchen of my last trip there.

unfiltered honey and honeycomb

Oddly the two things in France that you’re practically expected to taste before you buy them are wine and honey. Not in stores, per say, but at the outdoor markets or food fairs; if someone has either, there are usually tastes on offer. (I was once at a wine expo and bought a bottle of wine without tasting it. The seller was rather shocked, “Don’t you want to taste it first?” he asked, before ringing me up – I was so in the habit of not getting a taste of anything.) But don’t go into a French supermarket and pop open a bottle of wine and take a swig (although whenever I have to brave a Monoprix, sometimes I feel like I need a belt), or open a jar of honey and dip your finger into it.

But you shouldn’t really be buying honey from the supermarket when there are so many great honeys to choose from that are the same price, or less, sold by the apiculteur or apicultrice (beekeeper, male and female, respectively – beekeepers are not gender neutral.) I have a friend, an apicultrice, who has less than 10 beehives – in France, you can only have 9. If you have 10, you’re considered professional and have to deal with all sorts of paperwork and fees, I’m told (talk about getting stung, not once, not twice..but three times!) I haven’t yet visited her but I hope she has less than 10 because I don’t want to be associated with the wrong element, if you know what I mean.

My favorite two kinds of honey are chestnut and sarrasin (buckwheat), which is a bit harder to come by. (If you read the label, a lot of it comes from overseas. But at least it’s not honey-flavored glucose.) Both are quite brusque, and I use mille fleurs (multi-flower) honey for baking projects, like pain d’épices and honey-flavored ice creams. Other varieties I stock up on are tilleuil (linden) and bourdaine (alder buckthorn), both dark and musky. In once bought dandelion (pissenlit) honey, knowing that it’s pretty hard to come across and was happy to snag a jar. And while I didn’t mind the flavor so much, it did remind me of why the French use the word pis in the title.


My friend with (less than ten) beehives gave me this curious honey which is unfiltered and thick, and slightly waxy. And, well, some kind of amazing. I also got a disk of honeycomb, which I’ve been living with on my kitchen counter for a couple of months. I still haven’t figured out why the edges are red, but it sure it fun to look at and someday, I’m going to do something with it other than just admire it. (Any ideas?)

thick french honey

But the vintage Hermès Birkin bag of honey in my collection, the one that no one is allowed to touch – including me – I got on a trip to Brittany where I picked up this magical jar of honey made by bees which feed on wild savory that grows in the dunes on the rugged, harsh Atlantic coast.

Miel de Dunes French honey

Perhaps because the bees live in such a unique place, the exceptionally dark honey has the scent of wild savory with the deep, musky flavor of the bee juices. I got it thinking that I would drizzle it over some Roquefort, but it seems to have fallen into the Too Good to Use category around here. But I’m convinced that I’m going to cycle through it soon, with my jam-making going en grêve (on strike), and it’s on the docket along with all the other honeys.

And what am I going to do with all those honey jars, once I’ve scraped them clean? Well, I’m sure I will fill them with jam in the future, to eat while I replenish my French honey larder next year. And the cycle begins, again.

Related Posts

The Buzz on French Honey

Scratchy-Backside Jam

Honey, Made in Paris

Jams, Jellies and Preserves (Recipes)

Honey Sources in Paris

At most of the outdoor markets, there is usually at least one stand that is selling honey. Those are good places to taste and purchase French honey. There are many small shops, or épiceries, scattered around Paris that sell honey from the various regions. One good address is La Graineterie du Marché, which sells grains, specialty products, and very good honey, and there are stores that specialize in honey, such most notably La Maison du Miel, Les Ruches de Roy (37, rue du Roi de Sicile), and Les Abeilles (21, rue de la Butte aux Cailles.)

L’Épicerie Breizh Café has honey from Brittany, including buckwheat, and La Campanella has honey from Miellerie de la Côte des Légendes, in Brittany, which can also be ordered online.

For honey that is cultivated in Paris, there is a UNAF boutique in the Marais (26, rue des Tournelles), the Luxembourg garden honey is available at the Fêtes du Miel during the final part of September, and the honey cultivated on the Paris Garnier Opéra is available occasionally at the boutique in the opera house. There are also a round-ups of Paris beekeepers at The Honey Gatherers (in French), with photos, and Les abeilles parisiennes at

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  • January 22, 2013 9:21am

    ” I’m going to do something with it other than just admire it. (Any ideas?)”

    Hi David
    I just adore honey & off course your blog. I try and eat raw honey (no extreme heat used in removing it from the comb). I’ve just done Jason Vale’s 7lb in 7 days juicing and one of the first things I ate was honey and banana on toast yummmmm.

    I also use it to make my own cold syrups. But recently I’ve come across this one, which is fabulous:
    Honey Citrus Syrups

  • Christine
    January 22, 2013 9:40am

    Do you have any favorite recipes using honey? Try using it instead of sugar the next time you make flan. The flavor is amazing.

  • Stephanie
    January 22, 2013 9:45am

    I read this post before going to bed and when I woke up this morning the first thing I did was slather honey on toasted baguette. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Bahar
    January 22, 2013 10:28am

    What a delicous post…
    I was once told only to use wooden spoons for honey not to spoil the taste.

  • January 22, 2013 2:08pm

    honeycomb is inextricably bound with my childhood. my father would bring jars of it back from his trips to swat in northern pakistan. i used to love eating little cubes of it. it is equally good whipped into a honeycomb butter or thick cream. that on a slice of toast is perfection. you could use on pancakes too.

  • January 22, 2013 3:28pm

    The third photo reminds me of the honey I grew up eating. We liked it best smeared on toast with a bit of clotted cream. You’ve reminded me of how very long it has been since I ate it that way.

  • Emma
    January 22, 2013 6:54pm

    As you like flavorful honeys, have you tried “maquis d’automne” honey from Corsica ? It is nearly bitter and with an absolutely unique flavor, very strong, anf far different fom the spring harvest, sweeter but still very flavoful.

    You can find it corsican shops such as U Spuntinu rue des Mathurins.

    And like you, I really love chestnut honey.

    • January 22, 2013 7:11pm
      David Lebovitz

      I haven’t tried the honey, but I love that shop!

  • carla
    January 22, 2013 8:20pm

    David, the red on the outside looks like pollen, the bees collect that to and put it in some cells. It can have every colour that a flower has. This year we had a lot of blue pollen from lavender.
    you can just take whole bits of honeycomb and chew them like a natural chewing gum. it will not stick to your teeth and the honey will slowly get out and you are left with a little piece of wax.

  • Kate
    January 22, 2013 9:24pm

    I love orange blossom honey in my tea. Honey is so delicious on warm biscuits,too. I always look for it in markets when we visit France. My husband thinks I stockpile it.

  • Janice
    January 23, 2013 12:01am

    As a fellow lover of good honey, may I suggest if you are ever in Arizona, you owe it to yourself to go to a farmers’ market and purchase some raw mesquite honey. The flavor is wonderful! They will always allow you to taste all the other varieties they have for sale, but mesquite honey is the best and is almost as divine as mesquite flour.

    • January 23, 2013 9:13am
      David Lebovitz

      Mesquite honey is incredible, as is the flour – for making chocolate chip cookies! I often bring some back when I go to Texas.

  • January 23, 2013 12:15am

    My sister, Anne, and her husband, Mark, have their own hives and harvest honey in LA – Lower Alabama! Every year they send some as a gift for the holidays, and I always beg them for more during the year. I drink it every day in my green tea with lemon, and it’s all the more special since it comes from my family.

    The local honey here from Arizona is also good, as is the locally made agave syrup. My other favorite honey comes from New Zealand, manuka honey, where the bees are said to feed on tee tree plants. It has a strong, distinctive taste.

    I’m convinced any and all honey is good for you, so I never hesitate to eat it. It’s especially good, as Kate said, on buttermilk biscuits with butter.

  • Martha in KS
    January 23, 2013 12:24am

    David, do you reuse commercial jelly/honey jars? I only use canning jars because I’m afraid the others won’t seal. Am I recycling perfectly usable jars? Thanks

    • January 23, 2013 9:11am
      David Lebovitz

      I do not reuse jars for canning; you should get new jars/lids for them to seal properly. I don’t usually can my jams, though, since they last fine in the refrigerator. (And I don’t have the space for canning equipment.)

  • January 23, 2013 1:09am

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention tournesol honey, which is my favorite here in France. It has a lovely chalky, polleny texture yet is in the middle range of flavor, i.e. not too strong. Look for it the next time you are buying honey at the market and give it a try.
    x0 N2

    • January 23, 2013 9:06am
      David Lebovitz

      There are a lot of great and diverse honeys in France (and elsewhere) – I like sunflower, too, but it’s good for folks to go to a place where they offer tastes so they can find their favorite. Some people wrinkle their faces up at chestnut honey, but I can’t get enough fo it. And that dandelion honey I tried is definitely an “acquired” taste!

  • Nari
    January 23, 2013 2:00am

    David, I feel like it’s my god-given duty to share with you MY favorite honey. It’s the Organic Wilelaiki Blossom Raw Honey from The Big Island Bees in Hawaii. I had it first on the acai bowl (another best in the world) at the Island Vintage Coffee in Waikiki and it has become my favorite. I wasn’t able to bring one back from the trip (and was devastated) but a wonderful friend who went to Hawaii right after me did to my eternal gratitude. You can buy it on OR perhaps you will be able to have a honey buying trip to Hawaii in the future. ;-)

    • January 23, 2013 9:10am
      David Lebovitz

      There are great honeys in Hawaii, a place I love very much. Unfortunately it’s a major trek from Paris to get there (three flights!) so I don’t get to go often, like I did when I lived in California. Such amazing tropical fruits, coffees, and other beautiful foodstuffs grown and cultivated there…

  • terry irick
    January 23, 2013 3:30am

    When my husband Joe was a boy he helped his grandfather with grandpa’s beekeeping business in the tiny town of Romona, in the arid countryside just east of San Diego,California. Joe kept a hive of his own bees too, on the roof of the family’s house.
    Unfortunately, every time someone on the block got stung by a bee Joe always got blamed!
    While we were living in San Diego we were able to buy the best honey from Mr. Green who used to be Grandpa’s partner. We had two favorites. One was the darkest, avacado honeywhich is just like blackstrap molasses- great for cooking with. The other was the lightest, most delicate tasting honey I’ve ever had . It comes from the pollen of the Black Button Sage which, unfortunately only blooms when there is an unusually wet winter. When it was available we got it in 10 gallon cans from Mr. Green.. Your post reminded me of those wonderful honeys. I still collect honey where ever I travel. There are so many good ones to discover. I often have honey with tea and leave out the tea so I have the full aroma and taste of the lovely,as my husband calls it, Bee Spit!

  • Genetaie
    January 23, 2013 8:55am

    Thank you David for writing a post on the subject! A beekeeper myself I will add a few information:
    – In France when you have less than 10 hives you don’t pay taxes considering it’s for your own use.
    -there are 2 AOC (Corse and Miel de sapin des Vosges) and 2 IGP (Provences and Alsace) in France. These honeys are strictly controlled to keep these labels which certified their origin and their quality.
    -bitter honey is from the strawberry tree. You find it in Corsica, Italy….
    -the red color around the honey comb is propolis, an amazing product from the bees which helps to keep the hive healthy as it is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal. Great for us human as well to fight colds and much more.
    – bees make honey from nectar they collect on the flowers or from honeydew they collect after some insects (eg aphid on fir trees in Miel des Vosges); pollen is used to feed larvaes and bees; pollen is their source of proteins.
    -honey is extracted with a centrifuge and should never be warmed up or will use its quality.
    -to find more about regulation, check the codex alimentarius about honey .
    In my family we bring honey as souvenir when we travel, and you’ll find good quality honey throughout the world, as long as you buy it from a reputable beekeeper.
    Finally here is my favorite recipe with honey:
    drizzle (or pour) honey on fromage frais (greek yoghurt…) with toasted almonds flakes (or pine kernel)
    A frog in the desert

  • January 23, 2013 10:08am

    I’ve got a jar of Miel de Camont with your name on it. Smack in the midst of orchards and fields, it is a delicious blend of all things Gascon. The first harvest of 6.5 liters was an eye opener of just how easy it is to keep one hive. So while serious beekeeping is a lot of careful work, bees are pretty forgiving to us amateurs. Thanks for all the recipe inspiration- pain d’epice rules!

  • January 23, 2013 10:53am

    And I thought it was just MY French guy who went through the confiture like there is no tomorrow! He and his 3 kids have the same family sweet-tooth, so I was chalking the excessive jam usage to that. Now I realize it’s probably just a French thing.

    But then again, jam IS pretty marvelous. As are the many types of honey you can find here. The French really know how to eat.

  • Supriya chohan
    January 23, 2013 12:13pm

    Organic Honey has been on my mind lately, especially after my recent visit to wayanad in Kerala, India where it was being sold in litre bottles. Was thinking of how it is the base for most home remedies, how a tsp in the morning mixed with warm water and lemon juice can cleanse the most stubborn of systems of their toxins etc. And then I saw this, you just made me love it more. Just makes me more determined to keep a litre of this stuff around at all times.

  • suedoise
    January 23, 2013 2:56pm

    For your amusement one might remind you that former French president
    Jacques Chirac spent an enthusiastic year in his late teens travelling in the US.
    For a while he worked as dishwasher at a Howard Johnson´s where he greatly admired its pretty waitresses, heavenly creatures who called the young Frenchman “honeychild”.
    When telling this – as a former French president interviewed on French television -, it was obvious he had never gotten over the bliss of it all.
    – Do you know what “honeychild” means, he exclaimed. It means “enfant de miel” !
    Can you imagine anything more charming?”
    In French the expression “enfant de miel” is an unknown marvel.
    I strongly recommend spreading it. ” Enfant de miel” said on chosen occasions
    really does work wonders at all hours.

    at all times.

  • January 23, 2013 5:06pm

    I thought i was the only one with a cupboard full of honey… all from Provence… and yes I seem to find new ones all the time.. .)
    Glad to be in good company with this addiction… xv

  • Liz
    January 23, 2013 8:54pm

    I tasted and brought back home two jars of a deliciously dark, thin, almost-syruplike, caramelly, saltly honey on the island of Rangiroa in French Polynesia a few years ago. It’s my favourite honey in the world – called “Meri Tuam’s – le miel de Rangiroa”. Sadly there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to buy it here in Paris. Now I only have a tiny scraping left at the bottom of the last jar, it goes in the “too good to use” category for sure. Every time I see a really dark coloured honey at a market I buy some in the hope that it will have some of the exotic depth of flavour that the miel de Rangi has – disappointed so far, although a jar of buckwheat honey I picked up at a farmers’ market in Queens was pretty good too.

    Thanks for the post David – some useful tips on where to buy unusual tasting honey in France.

    This is my first comment although I have been reading and cooking your recipes from the blog for some months now – a really useful blog as I am an Anglo living in Paris. Just off to have some of the celeriac soup now. Thank you again!

  • Kat
    January 23, 2013 9:45pm

    When I have red in my hives, it’s from sumac pollen. Sumac honey is wonderful!

  • January 24, 2013 12:47am

    David, I really loved this post and now I have a honey shopping list for the next time that I am in Paris. The variety and attention to detail is just breathtaking. Thank you for all the tips!

    About a year ago I decided that honey was going to be my go to souvenir. I envisioned filling a cupboard in my pantry with honey from across the globe. It really seems like the ideal souvenir as honey is so specific to geography. French honey is nothing like Canadian honey which is nothing like honey from South India which is nothing like the honey from the Himalayas. However, I go through honey too quickly I guess to have a nice variety on hand all at once. Nonetheless, I still believe that honey is the ultimate souvenir as few other things tell the story of a place quite like it.

  • January 24, 2013 1:03am

    One of my favourite chocolates from a local shop is the milk chocolate and honey. It gives away just a bit in the middle with a nice thin layer of the golden gooey treat.

  • Tags
    January 24, 2013 1:05am

    Speaking of adulterated products, 60 Minutes has a report about some purveyors making tins of Chinese truffles look like French ones called The Trouble With Truffles.

  • Annette
    January 24, 2013 1:37am

    For some reason, honey is especially amazing with bleu cheese on crackers or toasts. Or with goat cheese. Delicious

  • kelli
    January 24, 2013 2:20am

    my favorite way to eat honeycomb is to cut it into cubes and enrobe it in some tempered dark chocolate ,cool to harden the chocolate and pop it in your mouth, chewy, honey-ey and chocolate-ey=yummy-y

  • January 24, 2013 4:08am

    More reasons to go back to Paris! I was lucky enough to help spin honey a few times with a salty retired professor on her small farm outside Ithaca. She would give us some to take home, and offered it at a low price any other time, which is how I acquired the habit of dumping obscene amounts into my morning latte. Not very French but Mercy! is it delicious. I have a tiny jar of basswood honey I have been saving for goodness knows what. I think tomorrow we will have it on some blue d’Auvergne! Thanks for all this great info!

  • January 24, 2013 8:31am

    David – since you love chestnut and sarrasin honey, like I do, I’m guessing that you’d love miel d’argousier too. It’s that secret, bitter tinge that makes it so thrilling. If you don’t already know it, be sure to try some.

  • January 24, 2013 11:09am

    Have you tried the Taiwanese honey cake which is basically a version of castella? It does require SP cake emulsifier, but has some of the softest and spongiest cake texture around. Nothing stands in the way of the honey too!

  • January 24, 2013 11:54am

    Great blog and write up on honey. I am a honey lover and enjoy the different varieties we have in Australia. Lovely to find you.

  • Deborah Stratmann
    January 24, 2013 5:58pm

    A local producer from whom I buy honey here in San Francisco sells a honey they call “Cappings” which might be similar to the “thick, unfilitered and slightly waxey” honey you mentioned. Though Cappings can have hunks of comb in it as well. What I have presently is a wonderful, dark stuff made from the Sage flower.

    Nice article. Thank you.


  • Beth
    January 24, 2013 7:38pm

    My small 2 person household eats so much honey we buy it in 5 gallon buckets from our local bee supply store (raw, local and tasted first for flavor). Soon we hope to harvest from our hive in our backyard but they need to get strong first. My favorite honey for flavor is Meadow foam in Oregon. I haven’t tried it yet but there is a poison oak honey I’ve seen that intrigues. For honey comb, I love it best slathered on good French bread with butter. The chewy texture of the bread with the chewy comb and melty butter dripping with honey is wonderful.

  • Jen
    January 24, 2013 11:29pm

    First, a recommendation for the honeycomb: a colleague of mine was once traveling through the countryside in Louisiana when she encountered an old man with a table by the side of the road, who was selling big jars with pieces of honeycomb in the bottom. The jars were labeled BYOB: Bring Your Own Bourbon. If you let the comb steep in the bourbon for a few days, all the honey will come out of the comb and lightly flavor the bourbon in a really lovely way.

    Secondly, I once had honey from a beekeeper who lived near some vineyards somewhere in Italy. The honey absolutely exploded with grape flavor and was really amazing with cheese. I’ve searched high and low and have never found it sold anywhere – maybe this type of honey is typically kept for home consumption or only available at farmers markets in the area. Oh man,w as it amazing.

    • Pamela
      January 25, 2013 1:57am

      A friend who grew up in South Africa, and whose farmer grandfather kept bees, told me they ate the honey from the hive, comb and all.
      Is that still OK to do? I wonder, now that I’ve seen the extraordinary documentary about bees, Queen of the Sun, whether there might be a lot of toxins in the wax. Apparently the bees filter out toxins in the pollen, but where do they it go?

  • Cathy
    January 24, 2013 11:34pm

    Hi, David
    I love so much honey and I even put in my tea. I hope it is not a sacrilege to our british friend.

    The French use of the word pis in the title have nothing to do with the word pissenlit.

  • judy
    January 24, 2013 11:50pm

    I have a recipe for Honey Cake you might enjoy. Is it okay to just type it in the ‘comment’ area?

  • January 25, 2013 9:48am
    David Lebovitz

    judy: You are certainly welcome to share recipes in the comments area here. Thanks!

    Cathy: The word pissenlit is said to be derived from the belief that dandelions (les pissenlits) have a diuretic quality, which made people ‘wet the bed’ (lit). Have not heard other explanations but would be interested in hearing any other ones.

    In Switzerland, they call them dent-de-lion (lion tooth), a play on words for the English word ‘dandelion.’

  • judy
    January 25, 2013 7:18pm

    Honey Cake

    1/4 cup oil
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup honey
    1 1/4 cup flour
    1/4 tsp. soda
    1/2 tsp. allspice
    1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. cloves
    1/2 cup orange juice
    1/2 cup walnuts
    1/4 to 1/2 cup raisins
    grated rind of 1 orange

    Cream oil and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add honey gradually. Sift flour and dry ingredients reserving one cup. Add flour mixture alternately with orange juice. Toss rind, nuts and raisins in reserved flour. Add to batter. Bake in a greased 9 x 5 x 3″ loaf pan for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

  • Cathy
    January 25, 2013 7:41pm

    Hi David

    No, I saw “pis” and not “pisse” in your text. But you’re right, this plant has several names, the most common is pissenlit “pisse en lit ” and it’s not an belief. it’s certainly has a diuretic virtues.
    Another name is dent-de-lion (lion’s tooth) the English name derives it because “dan” in dandelion is the phonetic of “dent” in dent-de-lion. But is less common use in France than Switzerland. It refers to the aspect of the plant. In some French regions it calls laitue de chien or salade de taupe

  • Deb
    January 26, 2013 6:27am

    Lest anyone feel left out, thinking all the good stuff is overseas, I’d like to mention some of the great honeys here in the states. Naturally, any farmer’s market is going to have good local honeys, so when you are in a place like FL, CA, AR, etc..try the local flavors. But large cities also have a treasure trove of honeys in the ethnic stores. Any store that caters to Eastern Europeans will have Acacia, Linden, Deep Forest and buckwheat honey. Greek stores have creamed honey, and Asian stores have my all time favorite fruity honey….Loquat. When in south FL, go out along Krome RD in Homestead and visit the tiny mom and pop produce stands for Tupelo honey, tropical honey and special Redlands honey.

    • Pamela
      January 26, 2013 7:38am

      I LOVE Tupelo honey. I thought it was just a Van Morrison song until I worked with a woman who had worked for Savannah Bee Company. Check out the bee dance.
      Tupelo Honey is buttery and doesn’t crystallize.

  • Scarlet
    January 26, 2013 10:12am

    Here in La Réunion we have lychee honey – it is out of this world delicious, especially with a perfectly cooked magret de canard. Miel de baie roses is also really popular.

    I love french honeys, and never waste them in a recipe. They’re best straight off the spoon, or with buttered bread.

  • Françoise
    January 27, 2013 6:00pm

    I am a bit of a hoarder I have to admit and currently have 8 different varieties of honey at home… Rosemary, thyme, lavender, acacia, heather, clover, wildflower and Greek honey. Yum!

  • Joan Browne
    February 1, 2013 8:22pm

    For a life changing experience, be present when a beekeeper is extracting honey from the combs. (I believe it involves some king of centrifuge.) I’ll never forget the aromas released- it was like an instant replay of all the flowers the bees had visited that season. All those scents didn’t seem to make it into the honey itself, although someone with a more sensitive sense of smell might disagree. But now when I eat honey I remember those elusive scents and it’s like eating the memory.

  • Sonja
    February 5, 2013 1:04pm

    Hi David, I suppose you do know this place, but, just in case … I have a friend who makes delicious miel de chataignes in Les Vosges :) Lucky me

  • February 8, 2013 3:44pm

    Hi David: Always enjoy reading your blog and wishing I could be eating and tasting by your side. Your honey post was luscious for me to read as I’ve just finished writing a book called Taste of Honey. I tasted many (maybe a hundred) different honeys (many French, but stop the presses! Dune Honey?). Fascinating subject. The book’s focus is cooking with different varietal honey and which honeys (according to my taste, at least) go best with which flavors. All subjective, but great fun to think and taste. Book comes out in June 2013 (Andrews McMeel Publishing). I’d be happy to send you a copy. Please forward your address at your convenience.
    Sending big hugs to Paris. Marie

  • PamelaW
    February 12, 2013 8:03am

    Hi David,

    Absolutely the most delicious honey of my life was lotus blossom from Dal Lake in Srinigar. The last jar we had was from a shop in Delhi in the 90’s. It completely changed the concept of that food. If you ever find a source, would you let us know?
    Best current book on Paris…thanks! PamelaW