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Hawaiian Organic Honey - A Culinary Treasure of the Big Island

Oct 12, 2007
Rarity is often enough to add significant value to an item, especially in the case of art, jewellery and similar collectibles. In many cases, the rarity of an item is closely associated with the location from which it came. Over the course of many years there have been instances when this combination also applied to food and drink; for example, fine wines or a rare sort of animal or plant that is considered edible (and has become desirable).

However, there is one additional factor to consider - quality in workmanship, natural appearance or, in the case of food and drink, taste. Standing alone among specialty food items in the modern market, because of both its rarity and overall quality, is tropical honey from the nectar of Kiawe flowers.

A unique combination of geography, natural irrigation and atmospheric conditions creates a habitat on the Big Island of Hawaii ideal for this raw honey. Beekeepers have harvested excellent honey from the islands for some time, with nearly a million pounds of honey coming from the area known as the Puako forest annually. But in recent years, particular attention to selection of the raw honey results in a product that is literally unrivalled in its purity, texture and overall taste.

For some, it may be enough that this tropical honey comes only from a small section of a very special part of the world. That alone would separate it, in quality and taste, from much of the honey produced around the globe. But beginning with an exquisite raw honey just may not be sufficient to get this special condiment to those who appreciate its organic purity. Something else is necessary - meticulous attention to detail during the entire post-harvest process.

Harvesting Kiawe honey involves timing, a factor that may not be so critical with other honey processes. Raw honey taken too early may ferment in the jar, but if it is taken too late it crystallizes in the comb. If the honey is handpicked at just the correct time, and put into containers correctly, it will manifest a superior white, smooth texture in just a few days.

Taking the combs at just the right moment would be enough to separate the final product from other honey. Yet there is one more step to consider, or in this case, a step to leave out. Raw Kiawe honey is a living food. Experienced producers know that cold-bottling honey retains its wonderful texture and preserves healthy, natural enzymes. While leaving heat out of the process produces an ideal tropical honey, the viscosity (thickness) does slow down processing, again contributing to the rarity of the finished product.

Connoisseurs know there are some excellent raw honey sources around the world, and that fine honey is available on every continent. But a growing number of aficionados consider Kiawe tropical honey from the Big Island of Hawaii to be a natural treasure with few, if any, culinary peers.
About the Author
Casey Markee is a consultant with worldwide tropical honey producer Volcano Island Honey located on the Big Island of Hawaii. A luxury staple in such chains as Neiman-Marcus and Bloomingdales, Volcano Island organic raw honey is an example of the many fine Hawaiian gifts available for purchase from Big Island online retailers this holiday shopping season.
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