Last week, I had the opportunity to sample pure, raw honey. I'm talking undiluted, unheated, fresh-from-the-hive local honey that has not been tampered with in any way. It was mixed in with some fresh fruit -- strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and grapes -- and the fragrance and flavor blew my mind.
How can I describe the utter deliciousness of that honey? "You should get plenty of wildflower fragrance," said Dalia Diaz-Zelko of Zelko Bistro, who spearheaded the Heights Honey Bee Project. To date, she has collected more than 70 beehives throughout Houston in an effort to promote natural bee growth.
I could definitely detect the fragrance of wildflowers, but there was also this smoothness, this depth of flavor, this delicate quality to the honey, so that the minute the flavor registered on my palate, I could only think of one word: heaven.
"This is unbelievable!" I exclaimed after my first bite. It's arguably one of the best things I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. And as with anything else that brings pleasure, I wanted to draw it out, savoring each piece of fruit one by one, chasing the elusive flavor combination of honey and fruit. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since.
If you want to try this honey, Zelko Bistro serves it on their cheese plate. It's also used in the preparation of some of their other foods, and is also available for sale. Each jar is sold for $12, with proceeds directly benefiting the Heights Honey Bee Project.
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A word of caution: I'm told that the raw honey should not be served to children under six years old, because it may contain allergens that a young immune system can't handle. As for me, I don't think I could go back to the store-bought stuff if I tried. I can already think of the myriad ways I want to use the honey -- to sweeten my tea, to top my oatmeal, to sweeten a fruit salad, or on top of a waffle. Sounds delicious, doesn't it? Just wait until you taste it.
For more information on the Heights Honey Project, or just to get involved, visit Zelko Bistro's website or The Heights Honey Bee Project Facebook page.