TAKE 5:

extraordinary honeys

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with Selfridges Food Buyer Ben Suleyman

We bring you five key picks to shop now, chosen by those in the know. In this edition, our Food Buyer Ben Suleyman dips into our edit of honeys – just in time for sweet summer days.

Hailed for its healing properties, dubbed the food of the gods and also rather delicious on toast, honey is the sweetest of the superfoods. To guide us through the most extraordinary honeys around and explain what the buzz is all about, we called on our Food Buyer Ben Suleyman. He knows better than most that there’s a hive of knowledge to explore when it comes to honey: “Each tree and flower give a different flavour, colour and texture. With so many combinations, there is always something new to find.”

Let’s start the count…

THE TRUE HONEY CO.

Rare Harvest New Zealand Manuka honey MGO 1700+

Best for: splashing out on some Manuka magic

“We have to start this list with manuka honey, which is produced in small batches from the manuka tree in parts of New Zealand. Each batch of manuka honey is graded by MGO (MGO is scientifically proven to have antibacterial and antiviral properties). Rare Harvest is something extraordinary (hence the price tag!): at 1700mgo, it has the highest certification for manuka honey in the world. The texture is treacle-like with a sweet, medicinal depth in flavour. Only 1,000 jars are produced every year – each one is hand-numbered and topped with a New Zealand timber lid.”

SELFRIDGES SELECTION

British summer honey

Best for: every day (the Selfridges way)

“This honey is sourced from beehives on the Salisbury Downs in Wiltshire, England (which has earned it a place in our British Makers edit) and has a delicate floral flavour reminiscent of the great British summer. It’s made exclusively for Selfridges by a London-based beekeeping company, sourced by beekeeper Steve Benbow. This light-coloured honey has retained all of its natural properties as it is unpasteurised and minimally filtered. The vibrant sweetness of this honey is ideal with porridge, toast and cheese.”

TAHI

Rewarewa honey

Best for: robust flavour (and principles)

“I just love the Tahi brand. It leads the way in sustainability, with 100 per cent of all profits going back into community, conservation and culture. Since its eco-programme started in 2004, the brand has planted 325,000 trees and helped reintroduce 23 bird species – that’s why we see birds on the packaging. The Rewarewa honey is its newest product, sourced from the nectar of New Zealand’s Rewarewa tree (which we know as honeysuckle). Dark-golden in colour and intense and malty in flavour, the honey has a melt-in-the-mouth butterscotch flavour.”

MAISON DE LA TRUFFE

Black truffle acacia honey

Best for: pairing with cheese

“Truffle is my favourite ingredient. Maison de la Truffe is a Parisian brand that creates the finest truffle products. For this honey, it uses an acacia-tree honey, which has a sweet, floral taste – combining this with the [black] winter truffle aroma creates a product that’s deep in flavour. Enjoy this honey drizzled over a Tomme de Chèvre goat’s cheese – the cheese has hazelnut notes, which is complemented by the sweetness of the honey and deep savoury notes from the truffle.”

NECTA & HIVE

Red Gum unpasteurised honeycomb 30+

Best for: direct-from-the-hive decadence

“The taste of honey direct from the comb is unparalleled. This is its purest form, providing the sweet honey flavours and the nutty texture of the comb. Necta & Hive travels the world to source the finest honeys with active properties; Red Gum honey is an Australian active healing honey. The 30+ Total Active means the honey can help soothe sore throats, and the natural antioxidants help support overall health. It’s best enjoyed in its raw state.”