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.