Honey – The sweetest taste of New Zealand
Sourced from the nectar of flowering plants in our gardens, pastures and native bush, New Zealand honey is the sweetest way to taste our homeland.
While most Kiwis know about mānuka, the global superstar of New Zealand honeys, there are many other beautiful honey varieties produced by our industrious bees and their beekeepers. Honeys like rātā, kāmahi, tāwari, rewarewa and pōhutukawa are made from our native trees and are unique to New Zealand.
These varieties have specific flavour profiles, some are lighter, sweeter honeys while others are darker and more bitter tasting. These different honeys can all be enjoyed on toast, or in hot drinks, however they are much more versatile than that. Foodies are increasingly experimenting with New Zealand honeys to create exciting, new dishes and taste combinations.
Kāmahi has a rich, sweet taste with a buttery finish and works well as a base for sweet sauces or as a sweetener in spicy dishes. Tāwari is one of the sweetest honeys and has been compared to golden syrup. It works well as a topping for pancakes or ice cream. Rewarewa, made from New Zealand’s honeysuckle plant, has a malty flavour which makes it an ideal addition to a savoury grazing platter downed with a couple of beers.
New Zealand bees also produce beautiful thyme and clover honeys. While these varieties are also found overseas, they are very much influenced by the climate, soil and other floral sources of New Zealand. Thyme honey has a distinctive herbal taste and works well drizzled over roasted vegetables or in vinaigrettes. Creamed clover honey is a much-loved family favourite thanks to its fudge-like consistency and mild taste. Creamed honey, while very popular in New Zealand is less known overseas where consumers are more familiar with liquid honeys.
Honey, much like wine, tells the story of where it comes from. It's taste is influenced by weather, soil and local flora, which means that your local honey will taste of home. One of the most satisfying ways to try new honeys, is to find a bush blend or multifloral honey produced by a local beekeeper. Bush blends are a combination of all the floral sources in a particular region and will change from season to season. There could be a dominant floral source in the bush blend, or it could be an equal mix of whatever the bees have found.
Honey bee on red clover - Photo by Jody Mitchell
Honey is an ancient food, but it is constantly being rediscovered by foodies and used in new and interesting ways. In New Zealand, we have a wide array of honey varieties to taste and experiment with. So when thinking about what you want on your toast, why not try a local bush blend honey or when considering how to refresh a favourite recipe, why not try a native honey for a sweet new twist.
We have some beautiful honey available for sale that not only tastes divine but looks beautiful as well which you can find here