Honey and Cheese is a match made in heaven, and one well worth experimenting with.
The sweetness of honey offsets the saltiness of cheese, whether it is an aged Parmigiano Reggiano or a fresh young goats cheese. The art is in matching different honeys. Floral, herbal or citrus honey pairs better with different kinds of cheese. Just as you would pair cheese with wine, consider balancing the flavours. Here, at Lawson’s, we have a wide range of honey both local and from wider afield for you to enjoy on a slice of toasted sourdough bread from Pump Street Bakery or to explore pairing with cheese.
A recent addition to our range is Hillfarm honey from Heveningham, near Halesworth. Hillfarm are renowned for their cold pressed rapeseed oil made from crops on their farm. Bees are extremely important to all farmers because they help to pollinate the crops. The Fairs family at Hillfarm take their responsibility to care for wildlife and manage biodiversity extremely seriously.
Two years ago, Hillfarm decided to ban the use of the three potentially harmful neonicotinoid chemicals in their seed treatments. Neonicotinoids, or neonics as they are more commonly known, are a type of pesticide that helps farmers to grow healthy crops but are associated with our declining bee populations. After countless studies and research, scientists can not agree if neonics are harming bees. The Fairs family say for them that “the uncertainty simply isn’t worth the risk” and they have stopped using neonics for good. To demonstrate their commitment to bees they have been working alongside local beekeepers who manage the hives on the farm. The bees forage in the clover-rich grasslands, field margins and of course the rapeseed.
Hillfarm honey is available both set and runny and we highly recommend trying it.
Hilltop was established in 2011 in mid Wales and now supplies honey from hives all over the UK and Europe from beekeepers who share their belief that raw honey has special nutritional benefits.
Hilltop Raw Creamed Honey is a fantastic mixture of raw oilseed rape honey and raw wildflower honey. These are blended to create a consistent product which retains its buttery like consistency without setting so you can rely on it being spreadable instead of crystallised. It has a strong flavour and is great for spreading on toast in the morning.
Hilltop claim that their Cut Comb In Acacia Honey is the purest form of honey you can have. They recommend drizzling it on ice cream or over your breakfast porridge. We also sell slabs of Hilltop Acacia Honey Comb.
The Art of Honey
The Art of Honey source high quality single-variety raw honey from around the world. Their ambition is to introduce consumers to wholly natural honeys and to protect the art of honey making. From their range we have jars of Acacia, Chestnut, Canola (rapeseed) and Forest Honey - a decadently sweet golden honey, which balances crisp notes of lime tree, sweet oak and pine with forest-ﬂoor ﬂowers like silkweed and sage.
A totally unique product is the Art of Honey’s Forest Honeycomb, which is harvested from pristine Hungarian nature reserves. The comb is built and sealed by the industrious bees in bamboo boxes placed in the hive. The honey retains all its natural essential oils and micro-nutrients for a fresh natural product.
On August 12th Erik from the Art of Honey will be here with us in Aldeburgh to talk about how they source their honey and to discuss their range with our customers. More details on the Art of Honey Tasting >
From Italy we have a range supplied by Seggiano including sunflower, Sicilian Wild Thyme, Chestnut, Wildflower, and Acacia honey. Spring flowering acacia makes a pale gold liquid honey with a delicate, fragrant taste which always remains liquid. Sicilian Thistle honey has a strongly floral bouquet, a pleasantly intense flavour, with a long sweet caramel finish and is ideal with full flavoured pecorino and blue cheeses.
Pairing Cheese and Honey
The art, when serving cheese with honey, is not to smoother the flavour of the cheese with the honey. The honey should elevate the cheese, not dominate it. Serve it alongside the cheese board so people can help themselves or drizzle it over at the last minute.
Our favourite cheese and honey pairings:
Fresh Goats Cheese such as Dorstone or Sinodun Hill is lovely with a herbaceous or citrus honey brings out the best in the cheese, try Hillfarm’s Honey. Grassy notes in this honey highlight the same characteristics in cheeses made with beta-carotene-rich milk, which is inherently linked to the pasture the animals feed on.
Aged hard cheeses, such as a tangy cheddar, nutty Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino or alpine cheese like Comte work well with rich nutty honeys. Try Seggiano’s Chestnut honey made from spring flowering sweet chestnut. It is sophisticated, dark liquid honey with a slightly bitter taste that pairs beautifully with these cheeses.
The mellow sweetness of the honey cuts the saltiness of blue cheese. We recommend lighter honeys like Hilltop Honey’s Cut Comb in Acacia honey. The mild floral taste of acacia honey provides a good balance to the strong mossy taste of gorgonzola for example.
Honey and cheese doesn’t just have to be for after dinner. Ricotta drizzled with honey and scattered with a honey granola makes a delicious breakfast especially if you add berries or soft ripe figs. Try this using The Art of Honey’s sweet and floral Forest Honey.