The unique taste of artisanal honeys

The honey you buy in the grocery store tastes all pretty much the same. It’s sweet and pleasant enough for most things, but it’s also a little bland. That’s because major manufacturers, in order to take advantage of economies of scale, often mix together and process honeys from thousands of hives, with little regard for where the honey came from.

That’s really kind of sad because honey, especially artisanal honeys such as Buzz Savories, have a distinctive terroir. Terroir (ter-wahr/) is a French term referring to the environmental factors that affect a crop’s taste and other qualities. Although most often associated with wine, terroir is also studied and appreciated in crops like coffee, chocolate, chili peppers, hops, tea and even cannabis.

The unique flavor of Buzz Savories honey comes from hives in rural south-central Nebraska where the bees feast on plum, chokecherry and elderberry blossoms as well as clover, wild mustard, prairie coneflower, goldenrod, aster and other flowers. Because it comes from a single source and is minimally processed, it retains its pure, delicate flavor with hints of flowers and spice.

Starting with Buzz Savories, of course, you can become more expert in your appreciation of artisanal honey by seeking out local brands online and when you travel. You’ll find there are wide variations in color and taste that are the product of the bees’ diet: bees that harvest nectar from avocado blossoms produce honey with a rich, buttery flavor, while bees that forage from orange groves in Florida make light, sweet orange blossom honey.

Why not get your friends to join you in an artisanal honey-tasting? You’ll find that artisanal honeys are often lighter, more delicate and subtle than the standard plastic honey-bear variety, and it’s fun to discuss, score and rank them like wine. Give it a try. And if one of your friends asks where you bought your Buzz Savories Honey, be sure to tell them.

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