Six of the best honey based treats from Yorkshire
- Credit: Thinkstock
Tony Greenway was as busy as bee checking out these sweet products.
I love everything about summer, writes Tony Greenway. I love the sound of birds twittering, and sausages sizzling and children playing (not YOUR children, of course. Please keep them quiet and stop them from annoying me). But I am less crazy about wasps. What is their purpose, exactly? They seem to have been created for the sole purpose of crawling into my Diet Tango. Then — drunk on orange flavouring and aspartame — they sadistically follow me around the garden, buzzing around my head. I jump around madly to avoid them; flapping my arms and looking for all the world to the neighbours, as if I’m having some kind of seizure, or rehearsing street dance or creating a new form of martial art.
So imagine my horror the other day when my nine-year-old daughter announced that there was a swarm of wasps in her bedroom. ‘Really?’ I asked, panicked. ‘How many is a swarm?’
‘Lots!’ she said. I put on a cagoule, balaclava and gloves and, armed with a fly-swatter, bravely opened the door.
She was right about one thing. There were lots of them, hundreds, actually. But they weren’t wasps. They were honey bees. And they were coming in — swarming in like they do — through an airbrick.
A man from the council turned up. He said that the bees were completely harmless and were only in my daughter’s bedroom because they had taken a wrong turn. Essentially their leader had gone off in a different direction and so the workers had ended up confused, disorientated and were slowly dying off; a bit like the Labour Party.
I felt sorry for them (the bees – not the Labour Party) and started thinking about how incredible your average Yorkshire honey bee is and how lost we’d be without them.
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For starters, we wouldn’t have all of these fabulous local products...
Yorkshire Honey with Ginger
Now this is great — and right up my street: creamy honey and stem ginger in one superb hit from Bradford-based Denholme Gate Honey. Although, as co-owner Andy Holling tells me, it is a bit unusual — so people like to taste it first. ‘Then they say: “This is nice, isn’t it?” Then they buy some!’ Denholme Gate’s Pure Yorkshire Summer Honey is probably the company’s best-seller, closely followed by its Yorkshire Heather Moorlands Honey, which, says Andy, ‘is England’s equivalent to manuka’.
Yorkshire Honey Toasted Granola
Made with organic oats and spelt flour grown on the organic family farm at Foston on the Wolds, near Bridlington, Yorkshire Honey Toasted Granola — from Side Oven Bakery — is an award-winning breakfast treat. ‘We put honey into our honey toasted muesli, as well,’ says Jessica Sellers, director at Side Oven. By the by Side Oven also run courses including bread-making and stollen and sweetbread-making.
01262 488376 sideoven.com
Yorkshire Honey Truffles
The York Cocoa House — a classy establishment in the city devoted to all things chocolate — make these Honey Truffles, which are every bit as good as they sound. The truffles include a ganache made with Yorkshire honey and 35 per cent fine milk chocolate. Sweet.
01904 675787 yorkcocoahouse.co.uk
The Honey Farm
This is a honey attraction at East Ayton, near Scarborough for all the family and one you can interact with: apart from its honey bee exhibition (where you learn all about these incredible insects that are safely behind glass), you can also taste different varieties of honey and buy some local honey products.
01723 865198 thehoneyfarmscarborough.co.uk
Two Chefs Honey Beer
A fabulous golden beer available in cask and bottle from the Great Yorkshire Brewery in Cropton, created by two local chefs: James MacKenzie from The Pipe & Glass Inn and Andrew Pern from The Star at Harome. It’s brewed with honey from nearby producers and has become an extremely popular tipple. ‘During trials, the second batch we brewed was quite tart,’ says head brewer, Alan Jeffreys. ‘So, to form a base for a smoother palate, we modified it to taste slightly sweeter.’ The brew also includes a pinch of lemon thyme — so you get a taste of citrus and mellow sweetness. ‘The more people get to know about it, the more they want it,’ says Alan. I’ll second that.
01751 417330 thegreatyorkshirebrewery.co.uk
Swales Honey — based in Osmotherley on the western edge of the North York Moors National Park — is a family-run business which has been making honey since 1975. In late July, Swales’ bees are moved onto the moors, and dark, amber-coloured Heather Honey is the result. Delicious.
01609 883320 swaleshoney.co.uk