Honey Gastronomy

Honey can certainly be appreciated by itself, but it is almost always paired with something else. On a biscuit, a scone, a croissant (my favorite!) or any of dozens of different types of baked goods. But also delicious with cheese, or as an ingredient in sauces, as a glaze and in many other wonderful recipes.

Cooking with Honey

Honey is a delicious replacement for sugar, but many recipes have been designed for dry sugar. Here are a few simple rules to replace sugar in almost any recipe.

  • Honey is very sweet. For up to one cup, use equal amounts of honey for sugar. When over one cup, replace each cup of sugar with 2/3 to 3/4 cup of honey.
  • Honey contains water. For recipes using more than one cup of honey replacement for sugar, reduce liquids by 1/4 cup per cup of honey.
  • Browns faster. Lower the baking temperature 25 degrees and be observant for over browning.
  • Honey is slightly acidic. When baking, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda per cup of honey (if none used in the recipe already). This will reduce the acidity of the honey and ensure a good rise.
  • Light flavored honeys won’t affect the taste of your recipe, but stronger flavored varieties may, such as honeydew, chestnut or buckwheat honey.

Cheese Parings with Honey

Honey and cheese have a great deal in common. Both have been enjoyed since ancient times. And both are products of their geographical origins. Whether it be a Sourwood honey from South Carolina, or a Toma cheese from Piedmont.

Honey is expansive, cheese is contractive. Yin and Yang. Contrasting. Complimenting. Amplifying. Each bringing out the best in the other. The sweetness and aroma of the honey intertwining with the salty and savory flavor of the cheese. Yet ideally, both in balance, one never overpowering the other. Always try to match the intensities of each. The honey should never overpower the taste of the cheese.

Mild honeys, such as Acacia or Orange Blossom pair with fresh Ricotta, Pecorino, slightly seasoned Caciocavallo or dairy products like ice cream.

Medium or stronger honeys, such as chestnut or buckwheat pair with stronger medium aged mature cheeses of at least four months old, sharper Cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Comté, Gruyère, Appenzeller, smoked cheeses or goat’s cheese.

Try herbal honeys like Lavender or Thyme, with soft creamy cheeses like Feta, Ricotta or cottage.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Many new and delicious flavors are waiting to be discovered! Try two or three different types of honey with five or six different types of cheeses. You may discover the sum is greater than the parts!

Recipies with Honey

Nougat – Torone – Turrón: History and Recipes
Panna cotta (Traditional Italian Cream Dessert)
Seadas or Sebadas (Traditional Sardinian Fried Pastry with honey)

Further Reading and Resources:
Handy Honey Measurement Converter

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