Honey Journal #35 Napa Valley to Morocco via Hawaii
Name: Branches Black Button Sage Honey; Arganouz Argan Tree Honey: Royal Hawaiian Honey, Macadamia Nut Blossom
Country: Napa Valley, CA, Morocco, Hawaii, USA.
Color: Black Button — Butterscotch , Argan Tree — Dark Caramel, Macadamia Nut — Almond.
Flavor: Black Button — sweet, creamy butter with hints of milk chocolate; Argan Tree — sweet prunes and raisins; Macadamia Nut — dark molasses with nutty themes and lemony kick.
Consistency: Black button — syrupy; Argan Tree — thick and crystallized; Macadamia Nut — heavy.
Fragrance: Black button — chocolate brownies right out of the oven; Argan Tree — Pepper; Macadamia Nut: sweet musk.
Susie and I are moving soon from Hollywood to Sherman Oaks, CA, a distance of about ten miles. I have long loved Sherman Oaks because it’s bisected by my favorite street in the world, Ventura Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley.
Why is it my favorite street? Because if anything is made anywhere in the world someone is selling it on Ventura. The world lives on this street. Here is an example. There are more sushi restaurants on Ventura Boulevard and streets nearby than in Tokyo. Here’s another. One of my favorite all time pastries can only be found in two places — Lisbon, Portugal (it’s home) and Ventura Blvd.
The whole point of this introduction (one of the things I like about the Honey Journal is that it doesn’t have to have a point) is that since we’re moving we are, of course, cleaning out cupboards.
Susie has complained about the size of my honey collection (that is, jars of honey) for some time and now, going through our cabinets, I realize she has a point. These three honeys have been living, sadly neglected, in said cupboards and deserve some attention.
Let’s give it to them.
Napa Valley, noted, of course, for its wine, may soon be known for its honey, too. This Black Button Sage Honey from Branches is superb, a taste delight. It has rich, sweet butter flavor that is only made more delectable by its fresh from the bakery, warm chocolate fragrance. Very high “mmm” factor. It reminds me a lot of Tupelo Honey and that’s high praise indeed.
Ever heard of the Argan Tree? I hadn’t either. It grows in Morocco. Once I got into this honey with its sweet prune and raisin flavor (I’m a big prune fan), I couldn’t stop eating it. Every spoon dive into the jar led to another two or three. I’m just glad the jar is small. That’s the only thing that stopped from eating more. (Note the amount left in the picture.)
I’ve said before that Hawaii is the honey capital of the world. You can find great honey anywhere which is why it’s so fun to collect, but there is probably more great honey in Hawaii, acre for acre, than anywhere else. Everything Royal Hawaiian does is excellent. The brown sugar coated nut flavor of this honey is perfectly cut by a lemony surge as the syrup glides down your throat.
All three of these honeys are monofloral — drawn from one flower. There are many wonderful wild flower honeys, but if you’re looking for consistent, top quality look for the monoflorals.
Some the honeys in the cupboard aren’t making the trip from Hollywood to Sherman Oaks, but these three definitely are — or at least what’s left of them.