I’m always amazed at the spectrum of flavors you’ll find in honey.
Honey tastes different depending on where the bees that made it live, and those differences become apparent when you do a side-by-side taste test, say, on a fresh piece of breakfast toast.
I did that recently with H-E-B’s new desert and mesquite honeys, and you could have picked out the mesquite flavor even if you didn’t know that was one of these samples. The woodsy, almost smokey honey wasn’t as sweet as the one made from bees in the desert, but on the flip side, the desert honey had more layers of floral notes and a more intense sweetness.
That informal honey taste test made for an interesting breakfast the other morning, but the biggest honey news this week comes from Round Rock Honey, the Williamson County-based honey company that has added two specialty honeys to its produce line-up, including its first flavor-added honey.
Sweet-hot, flavored honey has been a food trend for a few years now, and Round Rock joined the competition with an orange cinnamon honey that I was afraid was going to taste like a Red Hot candy. In my livestream taste test this week, I found that neither the orange nor the cinnamon overpowered the already rich honey and that the balanced sweetener would be good on toast, in tea or to add a beautiful layer of flavor to a cake or cookie.
You’ll find bottles of this honey ($12) at select H-E-Bs around Austin, as well as the farmers markets where you usually find Round Rock Honey: Downtown, Sunset Valley, Mueller, Cedar Park, Wolf Ranch, Lone Star and Waco.
When I tasted that orange cinnamon honey, I didn’t realized there was another new Round Rock Honey product coming my way. Later in the day, I received a bottle of the companies’ bourbon barrel-aged honey. This product is so new and limited, it doesn’t even have a label, but I can see why people are clamoring for it. After spending time in a bourbon barrel, the honey picks up so many nuances of one of my favorite spirits. Just a small taste overwhelms the palate with the familiar aged aroma of bourbon with a little tickle in the back of the throat to remind you there was booze involved at some point.
This product coasts $20 per pound, and the best way to keep track of its availability is through Round Rock’s Facebook page.