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Nectar of the Gods


Squeezable honey.

Here is a photo of the Sue Bee Honey Bear.

Photo © 2006 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Honey is a thick, sweet substance made by bees from flower nectar and stored in a hive. There are many different flavors of honey, which are derived from the flowers the bees have been pollinating. My local grocery store carries tropical wild flower, orange blossom, and clover honey. The type of honey you choose can influence the flavor of your baked goods. Honeys like buckwheat and rosemary may be too strong in flavor for your recipe. Honey also comes in different forms. I was only able to find liquids and spreads. The liquids are what are also called table honeys. The spreads were in containers similar to margarine tubs.

Honey's been around forever. Honey was and still is known as the nectar of the gods. In the Bible, the Promised Land is referred to as the "land of milk and honey". That explains why honey is so prevalent during Passover and Easter.

My childhood memories of honey begin with homemade biscuits. Every time my mom made biscuits my dad would make honey butter. Mom also gave me honey as medicine. To this day, I'll drink a mixture of honey and lemon juice before going to bed when I have a sore throat or a cough. Not only does the honey coat my throat but it helps me to sleep better.

Today, I get to eat some of the traditional desserts that my Greek mother-in-law makes like Baklava and Amygdalopita. I hope you get the opportunity to eat more honey, too.

PLEASE NOTE: Never feed honey to a child under the age of one. A rare, but serious disease of the nervous system may show up in any child under the age of one. This disease called "Infant Botulism" is caused by honey that may have bacterial spores in it. Adults and older children are not effected because they are already exposed to these spores in everyday life. For more information about this be sure to checkout Vincent Iannelli, M.D.'s Pediatrics site on About.

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