Friday, January 10, 2014

Discovering a New, Local Ingredient: Whipped Honey

By: Amanda Neal

 As a student in the Classic Culinary Arts plus Farm-to-Table program at ICC, I’ve learned a lot about local product selection, and I’ve been dying to search for new, local ingredients to cook with in my own kitchen. So last weekend I ventured to the Union Square Greenmarket to see if anything caught my attention and was a product I had never tried before. Right as I entered the market, I saw a stand with all different kinds of honey and beeswax products, and I soon learned that it was Andrew’s Honey, by Andrew Cote. The decadent and luscious taste of honey is something I love, so I had to give it a try.

I had actually heard about Andrew and his honey before from reading the book “Eat the City” by Robin Shulman". The book is about fishers, butchers, farmers, winemakers, beekeepers and brewers who helped build the food scene in New York. I found Andrew’s story of harvesting bees on some of NYC, Brooklyn and Queens’ rooftops very interesting, and I’ve been dying to try his products ever since. As well, I had never heard of “whipped honey” before, so I thought it would be an interesting, new ingredient to try.

It tastes like honey, but is slightly sweeter and more spreadable. Normally honey is also stickier in texture, but this is slightly thicker and actually grittier like sugar. It goes great on waffles, toast, and in a mug of hot tea. Because it’s so similar to sugar, I got the idea to use the whipped honey in the making of some pearl onions glacer a brun, a cooking technique we learned in our Level 1 class at ICC. To cook a vegetable this way, you place the veggie in a saucepan with just enough water to go half way up the vegetables. You then add a pinch of salt, sugar and butter, and cover until all the water has evaporated and/or the vegetables are tender. Once tender and the sugar begins to caramelize, you deglaze the pan with a little water, and the end product is delicious caramelized vegetables. I decided to substitute the sugar for the whipped honey, and the pearl onions turned out delicious.  This product is so versatile, and the fact that it’s also locally made in NYC makes it that much sweeter!

Learn more about Classic Culinary Arts plus Farm-to-Table here: 

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