In the Southern section of the Appalachian Mountains, there is a tree that honey bees use to create one of the most interesting honeys in the world. With a rich, smooth taste that has hints of maple and caramel, Sourwood honey is a staple in many people’s kitchens around the Southeast. Sourwood trees blossom in mid to late summer when few other flowers are blossoming. Honey bees gather nectar from its petite white flowers and produce a honey that you have to taste to believe. With a light amber color that darkens over time, Sourwood honey goes well on anything ranging from pancakes and biscuits in the morning to vanilla ice cream at night. Brussel sprouts and bacon, collard greens and grilled asparagus, Sourwood makes it all better.
Named for the sour tasting leaves (not its sour tasting honey), Sourwood trees typically grow to about 30ft in height. The long bell shaped white flower clusters make it attractive during the summer, and during autumn it is of one of the only trees in Georgia that changes color with the season. Driving through the mountains in the fall, it is a beautiful sight to see all of the reddish brown leaves down the sides of the hills. At Savannah Bee Company, we all look forward to late summer when can get a taste of the new season of Sourwood. The barrels come in the back and everyone waits until the first bottles come off the line.
Growing up in the South, I have found that when most people think of honey it is Sourwood honey that is on their mind. It’s that honey that was on their pork tenderloin that one time, or the honey they remember from breakfast at their mother’s house. At Savannah Bee we have been lucky enough to have visitors from all over the world. People from all parts of the US and abroad all ask for Sourwood honey. It’s not surprising that it has won so many awards over the last few years. It is truly a honey that others should be judged by.
Submitted By: Usher Gay
Featured Recipe – Ginger, Garlic and Sourwood Honey Grilled Baby Back Ribs