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honey-msg – 3/3/13


Period use of honey. Honey sources.


NOTE: See also the files: sugar-msg, bees-msg, mead-msg, meadery-list-msg,

candy-msg, desserts-msg, Sugarplums-art, Roses-a-Sugar-art, bees-Markham-art, Beekeeping-AS-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.


Please respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear  at this time. If information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: Philip E Cutone <flip+ at andrew.cmu.edu>

Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 12:51:47 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: SC - Honey vrs sugar


"Sue Wensel" <swensel at brandegee.lm.com> writes:

> While honey is a popular SCA-alternate for sugar in recipes, I am

> beginning to doubt how much it really was used in period recipes.


i sound like i'm beating a dead horse, "In the Domestroi...." nearly

every recipe which calls for sweetening, specifies honey. Indeed, i

cannot find a place where sugar is used at all! I cannot

say if this was the translator's (Carolyn Pouncy) choice, or

original. I imagine that it would depend on region.  I don't know the

specifics for sugar cane, but it seems as though it is mostly grown in

humid zone 8 or warmer. (tropical climate)


here is what the online encyclopedia has to say about it:

>     It is believed that sugarcane culture began in New Guinea and

>     then gradually spread throughout the South Pacific, Southeast

>     Asia, and India.  Thereafter it spread to China and to the

>     ancient Arab world, but sugar remained a scarce luxury in Europe.

>     In the 15th and 16th centuries, however, European explorers and

>     colonizers of the Caribbean and South American regions brought

>     sugarcane cuttings with them, and once planted, the cuttings

>     thrived in the warm, moist climate and productive soil.  By the

>     year 1600, sugar production in the subtropical and tropical

>     Americas had become the world's largest and most lucrative

>     industry.


In service,




Date: Sun, 04 Jan 1998 16:21:12 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: SC - Sugar, onions...


> From: Tara Sersen <ladycharissa at geocities.com>

> OK, I have some questions for everyone.  The first is to settle a

> discussion a friend and I had a few weeks ago.  We were discussing the

> ingredient sugar in period recipies.  It occured to us that the first

> time we can recall hearing about sugar cane is in the New World,

> particularly in terms of rum production.  Neither of us could think of

> any period reference for molassas or rum.  So, we figured that the sugar

> being called for might be beet sugar.  If we're right, then very late

> period might have used cane sugar, but not earlier periods.  Does anyone

> know what is right?


Very early period practice in Europe appears to indicate that honey was

almost exclusively used for sweetening foods. Cane sugar was known, but

rather rare in Europe, and would more or less have come under the

heading of a pharmaceutical. Around the time of the first Crusade, the

Crusaders returned to Europe with a taste for many of the foods that we

now associate with medieval European cooking. As a result, things like

sugar in varying states of processing began to appear in European

markets. Still quite expensive, and used accordingly, through most of

period. Sugar cane as a commercial product in its own right, and locally

produced European sugar (in Cyprus, for instance), appear more or less

on a very small scale in late period. One of the reasons things like

molasses and rum don't seem to appear in period recipes is simply that

the production of sugar was still being controlled by the people native

to the areas where sugar cane grows. Molasses and rum used by Europeans

are largely a function of Europeans actually growing and processing

sugar, which is more or less a function of colonialism, which doesn't

really occur within period.


Beet sugar is the result of a process developed in the early 19th

century, IIRC.



Crown Province of Ostgardr, East Kingdom



Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 05:45:42 EDT

From: CorwynWdwd at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Flavored honey


Galengale or ginger honey UMMMMM done that.. wunnerful! First heard of

Galengale honey from the writings of Hildegard of Bingen (sp?) so the

technique was KNOWN in period.. of course, since we're talking about somebody

who IMO described bacteria and the very (probable) form of the Universe in the

12th century... maybe I'm getting ahead of myself...<g>.





Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 00:27:29 -0700 (PDT)

From: Laura C Minnick <lainie at gladstone.uoregon.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - bewined honey? honey with anise? (fwd)


       Someone asked about the honey- and this was the reply. Have fun!




- ---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Sun, 09 May 1999 21:44:00 -0700

From: Vesta <vesta at internetcds.com>

To: Laura C Minnick <lainie at gladstone.uoregon.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - bewined honey? honey with anise? (fwd)


Laura C Minnick wrote:

> Domina Vesta Antonia Aurelia when asked about her Libum loaves

> recipe, gave it. One of her comments was:

> > I served it with bewined honey, and honey with anise.

> Anyone know what "bewined" honey is? Is this honey with anise,

> honey that you soak anise seed? star anise? in for awhile? Or

> something bought already flavored?


Bewined honey:  Honey with wine.

One quart honey.  Add 1 cup dry white wine.  Mix 'til well blended.



Honey with anise.

One quart honey.  2 Tablespoons anise.   Crush anise.   Heat over low

flame until honey smells strongly of anise.  Serve.


I pulled these combinations out of my.....ear. They have no basis in

Apicius, other than being ingredients available to the needy Roman



Domina Vesta Antonia Aurelia          vesta at internetcds.com

An Tir -- Summits -- Cavernsgate



From: Norsefolk at egroups.com

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 14:23:26 EDT

From: beiskaldi at aol.com

Subject: Re: Mead flavors


shetler at home.com writes:

> Here is a website for a variety of flavored honeys

> that you might enjoy as well. http://www.castlemark-honey.com/


FWIW, I know the owners of castlemark honey.  The honeys are not 'flavored'

per se, but rather made from various pollens, ie clover, alfalfa, wildflower,

heather, sourwood (don't go ick till youve tried it) & various other

plants. Good stuff, & decent prices.





Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 12:35:19 -0500

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: "mk-cooks at midrealm.org" <mk-cooks at midrealm.org>,

        "sca-cooks at ansteorra.org" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Honey reference source


While looking for nougat recipes, I came across this interesting site on




It contains the text of an FAO document on honey

products and contains modern recipes for Liquid honey,

Creamed honey, Comb honey, Mead, Honey beer,

Honey liqueurs, Honey spreads, Honey with

fruits and nuts, Honey with pollen and propolis,

Honey paste for dressing wounds, Sugar substitution,

Fruit marmalade, Honey jelly, Syrups, Rose honey,

Caramels, Nougat and torrone, Honey gums, Gingerbread

and Marzipan.


Johnna Holloway  Johnnae llyn Lewis



Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2005 11:03:15 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cioccolato di Modica

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


Stefan li Rous wrote:

> Gianotta asked:

>> I'm engaged in a spirited, uh, debate with someone on another list

>> about Sicilian gastronomy. In researching my rebuttal I came across

>> mentions of chocolate made in Modica, Sicily. There, chocolate is made

>> like the Aztecs did it; cacao beans ground against stone, mixed with

>> sugar (of course the Aztecs would have used honey)

> But since the honey bee is a European import, any honey the Aztecs

> would have used would have been from a different insect.


Well, according to Sophie Coe in "America's First Cuisines", the

Mayas actually created hives for the indigenous American bees. They

are not the honey bees of Europe, but they do make honey.


The book is eluding me for the moment... I can quote more when i locate  






Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2005 15:03:57 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Honey in Meso-America

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


OK, i found where the Sophie D. Coe book, "America's First Cuisines",

was hiding...


She notes, on p. 89 of the chapter titled "Aztec Ingredients" that

Aztec warehouses received annually 2,200 pots of bee's honey.


On p. 116, of the chapter "Aztec Cooks and Menus", Coe notes that in

the writings of Sahagun are mentioned honey tamales, bee tamales, and

(p. 117) tortillas made with honey. Hernandez mentions among the

nixtamalized maize gruels, which were drunk as nourishing beverages,

one with 1/10th part maguey syrup called nequatolli, and one with

chili and honey called nechillatolli. An atolli of red amaranth

rather than maize, with honey was hoauhatolli.


In the chapter "The Maya and the Explorers", on pp. 125-126

"One thing the expedition of Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba noticed

on the island of Cozumel, and later in Yucatan, may still be seen in

those places today by the visitor. It was, and is, an excellent place

for honey production. Today the honey is produced by the European

honey bee (Apis mellifera) , but prior to its introduction there were

plenty of indigenous bees (Melipona sp., Trigona sp.) to do the job.

Bee yards with thousands of hives are described by early travelers.

Hernandez de Cordoba was said to have seen many wooden hives and to

have been brought calabashes full of white and excellent honey. Honey

was one of the principal products of the country and along with

locally produced cotton cloth was traded far and wide in Mesoamerica.

Among the Maya it was used to sweeten some of the maize drinks, the

posolli and atolli [i mentioned in a previous post], and to make an

exceedingly important alcoholic ritual beverage, balche'. The fact

that a good part of one of the four surviving Maya books, the Madrid

Codex, is concerned with bees and beekeeping underscores their



"Was this honey used to make preserves or boiled sugar goods? We know

that watery honey was cooked to make it more storeable, so that

combinations like boiled honey and squash seeds or boiled honey and

toasted maize might be pre-Columbian..."



Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2005 18:15:47 -0400

From: "jehan.yves" <jehan.yves at signofthetiger.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Feast Challanges/Disaster for Stefan (really


To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Honey usually weighs around 12 1/2 pounds per gallon (varies by

variety, moisture content, purity) and there are 16 cups in a gallon,

so 12 ozs. per cup is a reasonable number to work with.



> I found a website that says the weight of 1 cup of honey is

> approximately 12 oz. If that is correct, than I would have needed 7

> of the 5lb jugs instead of the 3+ Serena was able to come up with on

> site. Or... less than half of what she actually needed!

> Aoghann



Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 05:03:55 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

      <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Playing with cheesecake...

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


On Apr 29, 2006, at 1:25 AM, randel lee wrote:

> i am curious as to the ratio of honey as compared to a cup of sugar,


You might look here for info...






Date: Sat, 06 May 2006 14:24:32 -0500

From: LRA <LRA at olpdsl.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Diabetes and Honey - substitute or not?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


I have found a fake honey. It tastes like the real stuff, looks like,

cooks like, measures like and dissolves like the real thing. It is made

by MARKET PANTRY and called Imitation Honey. I have been able to find

the product at only Super Wal-Mart and Super Target stores (at least in

my area, Tulsa, OK). And it is more expensive than real honey.


The package says "sugar free, not a low calorie food". It has 0 grams of

sugar, but is made with sugar alcohols. Some people have problems with

sugar alcohols.


I'm not a diabetic, but I try to stay on a low carb life-style.


I'd be interested to find out if others have found other products of

this nature.


Lynn the Inquisitive


Ysabeau wrote:

> I've been asked/volunteered to prepare a dinner at a local non-feast event

> for the crown and other visiting nobles. There isn't a kitchen on site so I

> was looking at prepare ahead recipes. While it isn't necessarily period,

> there is a great recipe for a lamb with honey and apricots tagine in the

> latest Cooking Light magazine. Since our current crown has a North

> African/Muslim Spain (not really sure which) persona, I thought I'd try a

> tagine as one of the dishes. However, they also request a diabetic friendly

> diet...so what do I do about honey? I don't think Splenda makes a good

> substitute so any other ideas? How does honey fit into the diabetic diet?

> Should I just try something else?

> Ysabeau



From: Magister Galenus Ockhamnesis <galen at chirurgeon.org>

Date: January 22, 2007 6:40:15 PM CST

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Honey for Brewers


I have purchased some from

<http://www.eBeeHoney.com>www.eBeeHoney.com. You can order the

crystallized honey somewhat cheaper and it still works fine for brewing.




> I have  mundane friend who brews mead and ale.

> Currently he just buys 2 pound jars of honey from the grocery store.

>   Where are better locations or dealers to buy honey

> in larger quantities?  I'm in Elfsea, so someplace in

> the Central region or on the Internet would be best.

> Lady Hanna



From: Pug Bainter <pug at pug.net>

Date: January 23, 2007 6:41:10 AM CST

To: "'Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc.'" <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Honey for Brewers


As others have responded publicly since this is something many are

interested in, I'm going to do the same.


Bulk honey is actually fairly easy to come by if you know where to look.

Many home brew supply stores carry it. Sam's and Costo usually have  

the ~4-5 lb containers at a reasonable price.


I'm not sure what specialty stores you have around you, but in Austin we can

pick up bulk honey, including by the 5 gallon bucket if you ask, at places

like Sun Harvest, Wholefoods and Central Market.


As someone pointed out, www.ebeehoney.com has decent prices at $135 per 5

gallon bucket plus $36 for shipping. That is about $2.35 a pound.


While doing a Google search (which is typically what I do when comparing

pricing) I found the following as well:



      Jackson Apiaries - $99 per 5 gallon plus $43 in shipping (possibly

better if more than one 5 gallon order)



      Dutch Gold Honey - $76 to $90 per 5 gallon but they don't list their

shipping & handling on line


I've bought from Good Flow Honey before with very good pricing, but they are

local to me so they delivered it straight to my house without shipping

costs. http://www.goodflowhoney.com


Being in Elfsea, you might want to try Burleson's in Waxahachie to see if

they have bulk you can pick up. They even are listed as selling it by the

tanker, but at 3750 gallons, I think that a little much for most people.



If you are looking specifically at local sources, you can try the  

National Honey Board locator service at:




I hope that helps folks.






From: Alden Drake <alden_drake at sbcglobal.net>

Date: January 30, 2007 12:58:29 PM CST

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Ansteorra] Dutch Gold Honey


I've had pretty good results from ordering from Dutch Gold Honey.  I  

particularly like their Buckwheat Honey.  The last time I ordered  

them, they gave me contact information for a distributor West of the  

Mississippi - they have an extra charge on their product for shipping  

West of the Mississippi.  It took me a while to find the contact info  

since my office recently relocated, but here it is:


Clint Walker

Rogers, TX



I haven't ordered from him yet to confirm prices, but thought y'all  

might appreciate a honey source in TX. :)



Alden Drake


<<< Egads! 2lb and 5 lb bottles. Forget that. I get mine from Dutch Gold Honey.

They sell in bulk. I just got 63 lbs of orange blossom honey for $95,

including shipping. They're very reasonable on shipping, they just use UPS.

The honey stays under the 70lb price increase. They also have a really nice

selection, and they're FAST. Got mine in two days. However, make sure you

follow up internet orders with a phone call. My last order got stuck on

their server, and after a few weeks of not getting my stuff, I called them

and found out the problem. Of course, you could just call and order over the

phone. The staff are quite friendly and helpful.


Faelan >>>



Date: Mon, 04 Aug 2008 16:14:31 -0400

From: Gretchen Beck <grm at andrew.cmu.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] honey/sweeteners in Iceland?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>,      SCA-Cooks

      maillist SCA-Cooks <SCA-Cooks at Ansteorra.org>


--On Monday, August 04, 2008 3:00 PM -0500 Stefan li Rous

<StefanliRous at austin.rr.com> wrote:


I've been talking to this lady about food in Iceland since she is looking

for background info on an historical novel she is writing based in 10th

century Iceland. I pointed her to Nanna's book. For those who weren't on

this list a while back, Nanna is an Icelander who has written several

books on Icelandic food. The one in English is:


Icelandic Food and Cookery

Nanna Rognvaldardottir

ISBN: 0-7818-0878-2

Hippocrene Books, New York

220 pages



Anyway she recently asked this question:

> When Norse immigrants arrived in Iceland, were there bees ... what did

> they have to add a sweetener to their food in the 9th and 10th century?

> Pauline Kulseth


My feeling is that they would not have had sugar and even honey is

questionable. I don't know if they brought bees with them, nor am I sure

whether honey bees would even survive in Iceland. Trade was scarce

between Iceland and Scandinavia even at first and got more so as the

mini-Ice-Age developed, so I'm not sure it was imported or not.



Cleasby-Vigfusson, An Icelandic-English Dictionary (and excellent resource

for things Icelandic) has these things to say about "honey"


HUNANG, n. [A. S. hunig; Engl. honey; Germ. honig; Dan. honing; Ulf.

renders GREEK by mili?] :-- honey, G?l. 491, Bs. i. 103, 433, Eg. 69, 79,

469, Fms. vii. 173, viii. 258, Stj. 309, 411. COMPDS: hunang-baka?r, part.

baked honey, Stj. 193. hunangs-d?gg, f. honey dew, Pr. 401. hunangs-fall,

n. honey dew, Edda 12. hunangs-flj?tandi, part. flowing with honey, Stj.

642, Eluc. hunangs-ilmr, m. a smell of honey, Landn. 140. hunangs-l?kr, m.

a stream of honey, Fas. iii. 669. hunangs-seimr, m. [Germ. honig-seim =

virgin honey], a honeycomb, Stj. 210, N. T. hunang-s?tr, adj. sweet as

honey. UNCERTAIN In olden times and throughout the Middle Ages, honey was

one of the chief exports from England to Scandinavia (Norway and Iceland),

see the passages above; as sugar was then unknown, the export of honey far

exceeded that of the present day.


. sk?gar-hunang, n. wild honey, (literally "wood honey")


milska, u, f. [A.S. milisc = honeyed; Ulf. mili? = honey; cp. Lat.

mellitus] :-- mead, a kind of honeyed beverage, Ht. R. 26; milsku drykkr,

Gd. 71, Clar. 134 (Fr.)


The word "hunang" occurs one in the Icelandic Book of Settlements (as part

of a compound, hunangsilmur, which I can't find a translation for), and

"milska" does not appear at all.


toodles, margaret



Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2008 17:59:26 -0400 (EDT)

From: Gretchen Beck <grm at andrew.cmu.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] honey/sweeteners in Iceland?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Cc: pkulseth at rconnect.com, SCA-Cooks maillist SCA-Cooks

      <SCA-Cooks at Ansteorra.org>


<<< The word "hunang" occurs one in the Icelandic Book of Settlements (as part

of a compound, hunangsilmur, which I can't find a translation for), and

"milska" does not appear at all. >>>


Doh. Just realized "hunangsilmur" is in the entry for hunang:


hunangs-ilmr, m. a smell of honey, Landn.


toodles, margaret



Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2010 22:54:09 -0700 (PDT)

From: wheezul at canby.com

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Rose Honey was: Kochbuch der Maria Stenglerin

      (Augsburg   1554)


<<< Rose honey? Is this honey from rose flowers/nectar? Or is this honey with additional material added to it?


I'd love to see the original (and translated) recipes/commentary on this. >>>


Ain Rosen hunig zu machen

Item faims sauber, truck die rosen auss, vnd seud den

rosen safft in hunig, vnd thu frische rosenpleter in das glass,

geus das hunig warm darann lass anainand steen.


A Rose honey to make

Item skim clean, press the roses out, and boil the

rose juice in honey, and put fresh rose petals in the glass,

pour the honey warm thereon let [it] stand together.


So far I think it means to skim the honey clean, crush rose petals for the juice and boil it with honey.  Pour warm honey over rose petals in a glass and let the flavors mix with sitting.





From: Harry Billings <humble_archer at hotmail.com>

Date: November 2, 2011 8:11:26 PM CDT

To: Ansteorra list <ansteorra at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Ansteorra] FW:  Dutch Gold Honey


This is from back in Jan I have not tried them but for what it is worth.





Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2007 10:58:29 -0800

From: alden_drake at sbcglobal.net

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Ansteorra] Dutch Gold Honey


I've had pretty good results from ordering from Dutch Gold Honey.  I particularly like their Buckwheat Honey.  The last time I ordered them, they gave me contact information for a distributor West of the Mississippi - they have an extra charge on their product for shipping West of the Mississippi.  It took me a while to find the contact info since my office recently relocated, but here it is:


Clint Walker

Rogers, TX



I haven't ordered from him yet to confirm prices, but thought y'all might appreciate a honey source in TX. :)


Alden Drake



<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org