“She’s as Sweet as Tupelo Honey” ~ Tupelo Honey Facts
Van Morrison’s 1971 hit “Tupelo Honey” was a real compliment to the lady in his life, because tupelo honey really is something special! Not only is tupelo honey sweet, tupelo honey is delicate, buttery, and very rare.
The tupelo tree is part of the Nyssaceae family, a group of trees highly tolerant of wet soils and flooding. The tupelo tree grows mainly in the Apalachicola River Basin of northwest Florida. The swamp-like conditions of the river provide the perfect environment for the tupelo tree. This small growing location in the southeast United States contributes to the rarity of tupelo honey. The tree itself has deep, watery roots and beautiful, glossy green foliage. In the fall, the leaves change to shades of orange, yellow, bright red, scarlet, and purple. In the spring, the tupelo tree only blooms for about one to two weeks, making the harvest period for tupelo honey very short. In order to gather pure tupelo honey, beekeepers have to keep their hives on platforms or floats because of the swampy environment of the Apalachicola River Basin.
Tupelo honey is not only famous for its rarity, if anything the real fame comes from the taste. Tupelo has been considered the “gold standard of honey.” The taste is buttery, the texture is smooth, and flavor hits on the back on the tongue producing one of the most unique honeys in the world. Tupelo honey has a high fructose sugar ratio, making it one of the few honeys in the world that never crystallize. This trait also means that tupelo honey is less likely to spike the glycemic index. So the sweetness is not overpowering, and the taste is delicious. Tupelo honey is a perfect compliment to a biscuit, some tea, or just about anything that could use a little extra something sweet.
Our Tupelo Honey can be purchased here: Tupelo Honey
If you need a little inspiration for how to use your tupelo honey, here is a recipe from Laurey Masterson’s The Fresh Honey Cookbook:
Baked Bananas with Honeyed Cream
4 ripe bananas
4 tablespoons salted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon tupelo honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Here’s what you do:
- Preheat oven to 375 F
- Peel the bananas and cut them in half lengthwise. Place the bananas in a baking dish that is nice enough to bring to the table. Dot with better and sprinkle with brown sugar.
- Carefully pour the orange juice into the bottom of the baking dish, trying not to dislodge the butter and sugar
- Bake the bananas for 15 minutes or until they are lightly browned and the liquid at the bottom of the dish is bubbly. Remove from the oven to allow to cool slightly.
- Combine the sour cream, honey, and vanilla in a small bowl.
- Place the baking dish on the table and arrange the bowl with the sour cream sauce on the side. Invite guests to serve themselves, each taking half a banana, some juice, and a dollop of sauce.
Asheville Bee Charmer
38 Battery Park Ave
Asheville, North Carolina 28801