Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New ways to use honey

Sadly, some people don’t really know how to enjoy honey, and others have tragically limited their honey consumption to a small category of uses. We thought that sharing some of our favorite uses for honey might help to alleviate this sore situation. We’ll focus on perhaps the noblest use of all, which may also be honey’s most neglected use: the finishing touch. Just a hint of honey sweetness can completely transform a white sauce as in fettuccine alfredo, and it’s the perfect way to bring out the full flavor of the tomatoes in any red sauce, it blends beautifully with oriental flavors like soy, and it’s essential to an authentic bbq sauce. But don’t limit yourself to sauces: drizzle a touch of honey on a well-aged cheese with a crystalline texture like gruyere, parmesan, or aged gouda, or put just a few drops on your tomato sandwich or grilled-cheese, or drizzle over fruit or ice cream. If you’re reluctant to believe in honey’s power for a finishing touch, consider that almost every industrially prepared food has corn syrup in it. And what is corn syrup but a sorry, lifeless, unnatural substitute for honey? And remember, because honey is full of lively flavor, whenever possible wait until you’re done cooking to add the finishing touch of honey, so as not to cook off the nuances of the honey. And, of course, there are all the uses for honey where the sweetness can stand out more. A favorite light summer meal is raw quick oats with fresh fruit and either yogurt or milk, topped with a mild honey. We consider honey the only proper way to sweeten a salad dressing because of honey’s depth of flavor. And to state the obvious, honey is wonderful as the central flavor on biscuits, on toast, on bread, or on a spoon.

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