Synopses & Reviews
A Taste of Honey
is a fact-filled guide to honey and bees with a comprehensive glossary of 40 varietal honeys and over 60 fresh and easy recipes, both savory and sweet, using these honeys.
“Holy honey! Taste of Honey, with its lush photos and delectable recipes, not only teaches how to best use single-origin honey in the kitchen, it reminds us that honey is an almost magical substance, connecting us to our landscape, and to the hardworking honey bee. Marie Simmons’s book has made robbing the hive even sweeter.”
—Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City
“It’s rare to see such an information-rich book presented in such a cheery and beautiful package. We also need to know more about this important, timely—and also timeless— subject. A well-written tome packed with good recipes comes as no surprise, since this is from Marie Simmons, one of the absolute best food writers around. I read this one cover to cover.”
—Mollie Katzen, author of Moosewood Cookbook and The Heart of the Plate
"I’m a honey collector, too, but unlike Marie, I tend to stick to a drizzle of honey over cheese, toast, or hot cereal and the occasional dessert. There are so many more ideas here for using honey, not only the recipes but the more informal suggestions that follow each chapter—my favorites. And I do hope that the appeal of honey itself with lead us to care more for our struggling bee populations."
—Deborah Madison, author of Local Flavors and Vegetable Literacy
Honey is a lot like olive oil; how do you know what type to select from the farmers' market or the store shelf? Are all honey bears created equal? What makes one variety of honey different from another? Which is better for baking and which is best for savory dishes? Why is one darker than another in color, what does that mean? All these questions and more will be answered in Taste of Honey. Veteran cookbook author Marie Simmons helps readers understand the life of a bee, and how the terroir of its habitat influences both the color and flavor of the honey it produces. Then she explains how these flavor profiles are best paired with certain ingredients in over 60 sweet and savory simple, delicious recipes. Here is just a sample: Snacks and Breakfast: Flatbread with Melted Manchego, Rosemary and Honey; Honey, Scallion and Cheddar Scones; Honey French Toast with Peaches with Honey and Mint. Main Dishes: Crispy Coconut Shrimp with Tangy Honey Dipping Sauce; Salmon with Honey, Miso and Ginger Glaze; Baby Back Ribs with Chipotle Honey Barbecue Sauce; Cold Chinese Noodles with Peanut Honey Sauce. Salads and Vegetable Side Dishes: Pear, Stilton and Bacon Salad with Honey Dressing and Honey Glazed Pecans; Mango and Celery Salad with Honey and Lime Dressing; Honey Glazed Beets with Cinnamon, Orange and Mint; Roasted Eggplant Slices with Warmed Feta and Honey Drizzle. Sweets: Honey Pear Tart with Honey Butter Sauce; Chunky Peanut Butter and Honey Cookies; Honey Zabaglione; Honey Panna Cotta; Micki’s Special Honey Fudge Brownies. Each recipe includes a detailed guide for the type of honey that will work best with it, along with some ideas to experiment with.
In addition to full recipes, there are simple, fast things to do with honey at the end of each recipe chapter called Quick Hits with Honey:
· For crackers, celery boats, or sandwich spread combine ½ cup peanut or almond butter and 2 tablespoons buckwheat, sunflower, avocado, or alfalfa honey.
· Drizzle lavender, thyme, or star thistle honey on a fruit plate medley of sliced fresh watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew.
· Serve a ripe pear, cut into thin wedges, with a salty blue veined cheese (Stilton, Roquefort, or Gorgonzola) and a handful of toasted walnuts with a drizzle of chestnut honey.
· Season lamb chops with finely chopped rosemary, coarse salt, and freshly ground black pepper and broil. Brush each side with a generous coating of your favorite honey 1 minute before turning.
· Dress salad greens with equal parts fresh lemon juice and honey for a quick oil-free dressing.
· Stir ½ teaspoon grated orange or lemon zest into 1 cup creamy whole milk ricotta cheese. Top with dusting of ground cinnamon and drizzle with lemon or orange blossom honey.
You'll also find a comprehensive glossary that covers 40 different varietals of honey, as well as information about the healing properties of honey and interesting tidbits about bees and honey throughout history. Seventy-five photographs by Meg Smith capture the intimate life of the bee and all it's activity producing honey, along with the gorgeous food you can make with it. This is the book to help you better understand the different flavors of honey and how to use the right one to best complement your next recipe.
About the Author
Marie Simmons is an award winning author, popular cooking teacher, and established food writer. Her recipes and articles have appeared in dozens of magazines, including Food & Wine, Cooking Light and Eating Well. For more than fifteen years she wrote a monthly column for Bon Appetit magazine and a weekly column for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. She currently writes a bimonthly column, Simmons Says, for the Contra Costa Times. Marie has written eighteen cookbooks, including two James Beard award winners and a Julia Child award winner. She has taught classes at cooking schools nationwide, and she has made numerous television and radio appearances. Marie has also served as the culinary programs manager at COPIA, the American Center for Wine, Food, and the Arts. She lives in the Bay Area.