If you like honey ice cream you might also want to check out my recipe for honey and spices ice cream which you will find here

Honey - A Few Facts & A Little History

Honey and honey bees - the history of both is a long one. Fossils of honey bees have been found dating back more than a hundred million years and the art of beekeeping by humans was depicted in cave paintings several thousand years ago. The wonderful properties of honey have been recognised and revered by many civilisations including the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans and the bee itself has been adopted as a special symbol by numerous military and religious leaders over the centuries. Honey has always been well regarded both as a food and also as a form of medicine and it retains that same appeal today.

Honey Today
Honey is used in a variety of ways by people today with the main one of course being as a food. You can enjoy a wonderful honey sandwich or honey on piping hot toast, you can add it to a warm drink as a sweetener, you can bake with it and of course also use it generally in cooking.

Honey and Health
Honey has been used in medicine one way or another for thousands of years; its most common use for health reasons has always been to combat infection such as on a surface skin wound. For a long time, the people using it never understood how or why it could work but it did. Today we know why - honey actually has its own antiseptic properties.

Types of Honey
There are four main recognised types of honey:
monofloral ~ polyfloral ~ honeydew ~ blended

This is where the honey bees are only allowed to collect nectar from one type of flower. The different types of flower influence the taste and color of each monofloral honey so there are many variations within the spectrum of monofloral honeys. Monofloral honey is primarily produced in the UK, France, Spain, Greece, Poland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China and USA. The most common types of flower involved in the production of these monofloral honeys are cherry blossom, apple blossom, lime blossom, heather, lavender, clover, eucalyptus, sunflower.

Simply the opposite of the above - where the honey bees collect nectar from many types of flower.

Blended honey is a combination of honies which come from different sources.

This type of honey is quite strong both in smell and taste and is generally an orange red color. It's made not from nectar collected by bees but by honeydew they collect instead. Honeydew is basically what sap sucking insects (eg aphids) secrete and the honeydew found in pine forests is one of the most prized. The Black Forest in Germany is one of the most established sources of honeydew honey. New Zealand is also a key producer.

Interesting web pages with more information on honey:
Baking with honey: http://www.homebaking.org

I also have a great recipe for crunchy honeycomb ice cream which you will find here

Author: Shelagh Caudle