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The Mysterious Origins of Honeydew Honey

Honeydew Honey

It’s a confusing name for sure. Honeydew? It’s a fruit, right?

Wrong!

These words help one to understand this amazing honey :

Rare, conifer, Coccoidea Margaro-didae, sap, pine, fir, mostly female, manna from heaven, Sternorrhyncha,

and trisaccharide melezitose, a sugar, which turns out to be not easily found in nature. Interestingly, the production of this amazing honey especially fascinates entomologists; you know, bug people.

Without diving into too much detail, many phloem-feeding bugs, specifically many bugs in the aphid family including Marchalina hellenica, Gennadius, and Coccoidea Margarodidae, feed on the phloem sap of honeydew-producing plants – in this case, conifers. They ingest large quantities of this highly concentrated sugar substance, unusually high in disaccharide sucrose or oligosaccharides, and then expel as much as 90% of the ingested sugary substance in regular intervals as droplets. This sugar-rich liquid is called “honeydew”. The bees then gather these sugary droplets and create an amazingly deep, dark honey.

In history, this honeydew has been referenced to as a life saver, or “manna from heaven,” for the Israelites during their escape from Egypt, and as “the milk of paradise” in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, Kubla Khan. Not only do the bees take this honeydew and create a heavenly food, but so do …..

read more about Organic Honeydew Honey

A Honeydew of a Vinegar Honeydew Vinegar from Giuseppe is as exceptional as what it starts from; with a savory aroma that shines with the honey from which it’s made. This is one amazing vinegar. Light in body, but full of deep flavorswith a hint of residual sweetness that softens the finish, making it seem less acidic than its 6% indicates. 

The simple mixture of honey and water, if accidentally forgotten, ferments into a delicious alcoholic beverage. Eventually known as mead in much of Northern Europe, it was probably the easiest alcoholic drink to make. Leave it alone long enough and, like all alcoholic beverages open to the air, it will become a feast for wild acetobacter, the microscopic critters that convert alcohol to acid.Guiseppe Cagnoni mixes his organic Honeydew Honey with water, cooks it down to the desired consistency, and then allows it to alcoholically ferment into hydromiele – a process that takes from 1 to 1-1/2 months. The hydromeile is then diluted with more water and exposed it to the open air for over a month to allow the concentrated vinegar “mother” to develop. This culture is added to a larger volume of hydromiele in steel tanks to acidicly ferment for 4 to 5 months, until it turns to vinegar.

Each year the process is begun again, from scratch, and the result is a new set of flavors that represent the honey produced that season.

Honeydew Vinegar makes an interesting and delicious alternative to both Banyuls and Sherry vinegars.  And last month, when Dana Cowan, illustrious editor of Food & Wine Magazine, came to visit, all it took was one taste and she tweeted and touted our Honeydew Vinegar!

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