Name: (1) Miel De Cumbre Hipoloto Cabrera Cabrera, (2) Mieles Taburiente You can buy it: In fine food stores in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria and in fine food stores in Santa Cruz, Tenerife.
Country: Canary Islands, Spain
Color: (1) Light Caramel, (2) Dark Brown
Flavor: (1) Sweet grape, (2) Dark molasses with hints of maple syrup
Consistency: (1) Solid. You have to peel it with a spoon. (2) Thick, but liquid.
Fragrance: (1) Distant floral scent (2) Musky molasses
I’m island fan. I love the water, the colors, and the fresh air. Island air is distinct. I assume it’s the moisture from the sea. But it feels different, softer and sweeter. Of course, it’s also clean. I also like the pace of life. You’re a long way from the center of the action if you’re in Tahiti or the Caribbean or Seychelles. Basically, the rest of the world can go take a hike.
I’ve been trying to convince Dennis to move our base operations to St. Lucia for years, but he’s not enthusiastic. He doesn’t share my passion for snorkeling and open air dining. Oh well. I’m not complaining. We have the cruises. In February, we went with our listeners to the Canary Islands off the Northwest coast of Africa. That’s where these two honeys are from.
The Canaries are administered by Spain and have been for centuries. In 1492 Columbus sailed for India from these islands. In doing so, he stumbled on the Southern end of the North Atlantic current. Had he taken the more obvious route from the Azores, he would have certainly perished and disappeared from history. As much as revisionist historians slam the great navigator, I’m glad he made it. And while I’m discussing Canary islands history, here’s another choice tidbit. San Antonio, Texas was first settled by immigrants from the Canaries. The stuff you learn while traveling!
We visited three islands in the archipelago, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lanzarote. These honeys are from the first two islands. Both share a similar topography — steep green hills and picturesque valleys. The first honey is from the valleys of Gran Canaria. It’s makes a bold molasses statement, not uncommon with multi-floral honeys. It has smooth finish, free of any bitterness. The second honey is from the high mountain hillsides of Tenerife. It has a delightful grape flavor, something I haven’t encountered before. It’s very mild; doesn’t push itself on your palate. In that way, it reflects the temperament of island life.
I wanted to review these two together because they highlight how different honeys can be even when they share the same essential geography. One is bold, it’s taste unmistakable; the other subtle. And they are only a sea gull’s flight apart.
Hey, if you’re still buying that boring, bland Brand X stuff from the supermarket (probably imported from China), my friends, you’re missing out. Only the real thing — pure, unprocessed, untreated honey — from now on.
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