Days of Wine and Honey


Every year I go and stay with my oldest friend who lives with his family deep in the Bavarian countryside. They have become a second family to me and I love going; the welcome, the countryside, the food are all very special. In the village where they live is an lovely old beekeeper and I usually buy a couple of jars of his honey to bring home. So being conscious dear friends, that on the feast of St Bartholomew I ought to pay him a visit, I trotted over the road earlier this week for some 'Wald Honig'. What I hadn't realised until he told me on Tuesday, is how very special his honey is. This is how it's made.

In the pine woods nearby lives a little aphid that loves pine trees. Ants, who are clever creatures 'farm ' these aphids by looking after their eggs. The aphids hatch and eat the pine flowers, they digest the protein but secrete the sugar and the ants eat the sugar. However, along comes the crafty and industrious bee and he gobbles up the sugar too, heads back home with it and converts it into honey. So 'wald honig' isn't flower honey at all, but aphid honeydew honey and no I am not making this up!! I guess since it's been through the digestive system of an aphid , it ain't vegetarian either...

Hermann the beekeeper was a bit shocked when I said I liked it in hot milk, he says it's definitely a honey to have on bread, it tastes strong and not too sweet, with a resin edge. If you like Retsina (and I do) you'll love it.

So it's good to be back home; lots of autumnal delights await us. I was going to go blackberry picking tomorrow but today I put petrol in my diesel Golf (don't tell my husband!) so that will have to wait. Enjoy the rest of August wherever you are.
Love.

5 comments:

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

lovely post... we have a bee man who lives in a small cottage down the road and his name is Mr Beesby... no word of a lie!... I put petrol in our diesel engine once... what a fun weekend that was!

Emmalene said...

I love pine honey...and chestnut honey...but can't get them anywhere here. I'll have to go to France again!!! Or maybe mail order might be just a bit cheaper! I love the honey spooner (I don't even know what it's called!)- if I had one I'd feel like a proper domestic goddess, ha! Great post Liz ;-D

Liz said...

I'm not sure what the honey twirly thing is called either, a friend gave it to me, it looks good in the pic, but it's only plastic...The honey on the other hand is quite real and the bread is now inside me.

Gerry Snape said...

Don't yopu just love these stories. My sister loved in a little village in Germany for many years and the local stories were fit for a place in The Grimms Brothers.

kate said...

Lovely post Liz - I can't believe how much honey we get through here - I used to have a jar in the cupboard for months but now we have to buy almost every week. Goes in the morning lemon drink and the muesli and everyone's tea - except mine! There are now bees at Dolphin Cottage so I am waiting excitedly for real home honey next year. K xxx