Name: Heather Hills Farm Scottish Heather Honey
You can buy it here: At Fox and Obel’s in Chicago where I bought it. (More on this fantastic gourmet store in a future entry) or, on the internet.
Purchased: May, 2008
Consistency: Medium. Not thick, but spreadable, meaning you can use a spoon or a knife to carry it to your slice of bread or scone.
Fragrance: Bouquet of field flowers.
Notes: Open up this jar of honey and you are in the Scottish Highlands surrounded by sharply slopping hills of purple heather. A bright sun shines through heavy whites clouds. In the distance there’s a clear blue lake, the surface so calm that it looks like a pane of glass… Think I’m exaggerating? I’m not. This is one of the most fragrant honeys I’ve tried.
I once read a French novel in which the protagonist never leaves his study, but travels (in his mind) all over the world using his sense of smell. He had a whole library full of fragrances that took him to this place or that. This jar of honey would have belonged in his collection.
If you need to further enhance the experience, open the jar while listening to one of my favorite Van Morrison songs, “Purple Heather” which is on one of his lesser known albums, “Hard Nose the Highway.”
A word on Van Morrison. My late, beloved brother, Mark, introduced me to his music when I visited him in Bellingham, Washington in the summer of 1972 just after my senior year in high school. My big brother was always introducing me to things – music, literature, food, wine, cigars. His taste was impeccable and he was always ahead of the curve. He was runner before anyone ran, a wine enthusiast before it became fashionable. If he became interested in something (and for him to be interested in something meant total immersion) you just knew it was going to be the next big thing.
His introductions always began with the same enthusiastic phrase: “Al, you gotta hear this, see this, taste this, read this…” So, it was with Van Morrison and his newest album at the time, “St. Dominic’s Preview.” Morrison was already a pop star by this point with hits like “Gloria,” “Brown-Eyed Girl,” and “Moondance, ” but he was new to me.
The first track, “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile),” knocked me out. I was immediately as “into” Van Morrison as my brother was. That’s the way it usually went.
Morrison is still going strong, still making music, a legend who has transcended, but never betrayed his rock and roll origins. Long may he sing.
And long may you enjoy this fascinating honey.