“Taste of Honey” (Andrews McMeel, 184 pages, $19.99) is a book for bee lovers, honey lovers and cooks who love both. Author Marie Simmons spends the first 40 pages of her new book marveling in various ways at the minor miracle of honey and the honeybee.
Her lists of bee facts and honey facts end up feeling slightly clinical, but in the end, they build a convincing case in favor of nominating honeybees for some kind of humanitarian service award for their work not only pollinating much of our food, but offering us, for millennia, the sweet byproduct of their incredibly busy lives.
The book then moves on to the author’s tasting notes for about 40 honey varietals — including cooking suggestions and recommendations for pairing honey with food — which could only be the result of a long and thoughtful obsession with honey and its uses.
The balance of the book consists of honey-based recipes for breakfast, snacks, main dishes, salads, vegetables and, of course sweets. The recipes are remarkably varied, given the single-ingredient theme, although even then, this isn’t the kind of cookbook you’d want to try to work your way through.
As a resource for similarly obsessed honey lovers, however, the recipes offer interesting variations on a theme from classic to unexpected to whimsical.
The two recipes we tested were excellent, and generated endorsements even from our 9-year-old and 15-year-old, who don’t always look up from a plate of vegetables and offer a thumbs up.