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honey-msg – 1/8/17


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




Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2014 22:57:20 -0500

From: "TerryDecker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] the Melipone bee, vanilla


Yes, Melipona bees do produce honey.  While there are numerous species

worldwide, most are found in the tropics.  The particular species that

pollinate vanilla are only found in Mexico.


Many bees produce honey, but only the species that form colonies are of use

to humans.  The European honeybee (Apis mellifera) is a prolific producer of

honey and it flourishes in temperate climates, but it is not the only

producer of honey.  Central and South America, Africa and Australia all had

honey before the Europeans arrived, but the evidence suggests it was

gathered from the wild rather than farmed.


To my knowledge, the Meliponini are nor subject to Colony collapse disorder.




-----Original Message-----

Ber commented:

<<< Linnaeus and his attempt to grow vanilla is immaterial to the early dating of vanilla in Sweden as he is 18th Century.   He failed because natural pollination of vanilla is by the Melipone bee which is only found in Mexico. >>>


Did/does this bee produce honey?


I think we've discussed that honeybees were an European import to the New

World, and I classify honey as an Old World food when I run the NW/OW game.


Os this bee also subject to a die-off as other bees currently are?





Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2016 16:10:02 -0300

From: Susan Lord <lordhunt at gmail.com>

To: "sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] honey


I am not getting a handle on honey. As per the 13th Century Al Andalus MS there are several sweets calling for honey. See Perry/Friendman's translation http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Andalusian/andalusian_contents.htm


I bought a candy thermometer but after 220 degrees I burn the honey. Either it turns out too burned and hard or too soft.


My cleaning woman likes the hard version. When her husband talks too much she pops a ball into his mouth and he spends the rest of the evening sucking it.  But that's not the point!



Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2016 14:48:13 -0600

From: Susan Lin <susanrlin at gmail.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] honey


First double check your candy thermometer is working.  Boil water and test

it, account for changes in altitude.  Up here (Mile High) water boils at a

lower temperature.  Adjust accordingly.

If your thermometer does not get to 212 F or 100 C you need a new






Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2016 21:04:45 -0700

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] honey


One medieval Islamic honey candy I've tried to make is hulwa, I think

from al Baghdadi. When I make it with sugar, I end up with a hard candy.

When I make it with honey, I end up with a soft candy. I have not been

able to boil the honey down to a point where the honey hulwa is similar

to the sugar version.


But I don't know if I should be able to.



Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2016 08:49:35 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] honey


If you want to master this recipe or series of recipes, perhaps you should start with a couple of modern candy recipes which use honey and see if those can be made with your type of honey in your location. (Modern honey, at least in the US, is filtered, processed, and comes in jars; we seldom buy it direct from the beekeeper in the comb. Also there are different types of honey. One website I looked at this am noted over 300 types all of which vary in keeping qualities and tendencies leading to crystallization. )


Can you achieve success with modern simple recipes like these?



Candy making in general is a complex art. This article notes some of the




Honey in this article is used as an interfering agent to impede crystallization.


That aspect of candy making is explored again in this article:



You might also like this document on honey production and products. It includes recipes for honey candies.






Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:33:15 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] honey


The difference could be pasteurization.  Commercial honey is often

pasteurized to reduce moisture content and reduce potential fermentation

(bacteria doesn't live in honey, but some yeasts do)  It also slows

crystallization. And commercial honey often has the impurities removed.

Raw honey, as from the farm, tends to have a higher moisture content and

some impurities even after cleaning.





Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 15:08:23 -0400

From: The Eloquent Page <books at TheEloquentPage.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] honey

Message-ID: <57225FA7.4070606 at TheEloquentPage.com>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed


Some claim that the honey which flows when the combs are first cut are a

superior quality to the honey extracted by pressing and melting the wax.

Commercial honey is also often heated and heavily filtered, which

affects the taste and texture.  A friend of mine has hives, and that

initial honey always tastes the best to me, before he starts using the






Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:55:17 -0400

From: Galefridus Peregrinus <galefridus at optimum.net>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] honey


Yeah, as Bear says, it's pretty much the pasteurization issue. One of the things the confection recipes in al-Warraq call for is heated and skimmed honey. If you use grocery store generic honey, the foam you skim will be yellow-tan with caramel flavor undertones. You'll also have to heat it hotter to cause the foam to rise. Raw unfiltered honey produces white foam starting at a lower temperature and produces a lot more foam besides.


-- Galefridus



Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:25:03 -1000

From: Audrey Bergeron-Morin <audreybmorin at gmail.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] honey


Also, the (pasteurized) honey that I buy from a local farm doesn't

crystallize (or it takes a really, really long time), while whatever brand

I buy from the grocery store always seems to crystallize really quickly.





Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 22:09:59 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] honey


<<< Crystallization probably has more to do with the nectar source.  I have a large jar of raw honey from NJ that's almost solid it's so crystallized.


Alec Story >>>


The primary sugars in honey are glucose and fructose.  Glucose tends to crystallize while fructose doesn't.  Generally, the ratio of glucose to fructose in nectar is 1:1 as sucrose, but nectar also contains free glucose, fructose, and maltose which may modify the base ratio.


A glucose/water ratio of <1.7 is slower to crystallize, while a ratio >2.1 crystallizes quickly.  Pasteurization removes water, which is why pasteurized honey is slower to crystallize.


Storage temperature also effects crystallization.  Processed honey crystallizes faster above 75 F.  Unprocessed honey crystallizes most quickly between 52 and 59 F.   Temperature shifts will increase the probability of crystallization. Both processed and unprocessed honey are best stored at 32 F.




Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 07:57:42 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] honey


Honey is honey based on chemical structure.  Heating introduces some chemical changes.  One needs to keep in mind that honey is a complex organic product with varying percentages of various sugars and organic and amino acids (some aromatic, some not), which produce a complex, varying taste.


Honey is graded on soluble solids, flavor, aroma, clarity and lack of observable defects.  The taste and aroma are based primarily on the pollen sources and avoiding detracting flavors from caramelization, smoke, chemicals, fermentation, etc.  Honey quality is not defined by chemical structure.


According to the USDA, honey must contain pollen, which permits tracking the honey to the pollen source.  Based on testing, much of the honey in the U.S. is mislabeled as to source.  Thus, your orange blossom honey, may not be orange blossom honey, no matter how great the quality.  Ultra filtered commercial honey often has the pollen filtered out, which means that technically, it isn't honey.  The ultra filtering process is one of hydration, heating, forced filtration and dehydration, which appears to cause more change at the molecular level than simple filtration and pasteurization.


You can boil over ultra filtered honey and you can turn it to hard crack on the stove top and burners.


Aside from skimming off impurities, heated honey blends more easily with other ingredients in a recipe.





Galefridus commented:

<<< Inexpensive grocery store honey is OK for initial practice, but the higher quality honey behaves differently and results in a more delicate flavor. >>>


Ok, I can believe that the generic grocery story honey has a different flavor, but what do you mean it behaves differently?


I think that common grocery store honey is honey that comes from bees feeding on unknown plants or at a variety of plants that the beekeepers couldn't really track. Usually clover honey here in Texas.



Ah, okay. I had read that as Galefridus saying that the structure of the honey varied because it cam from say orange-blossom honey, rather than the common grocery store clover honey. I was assuming that that was what he meant by higher-quality honey, rather than that the higher quality honey had undergone less processing. I couldn?t see how the honey from different pollen sources would actually change the structure, rather than the taste, which it definitely can.


Some of those honeys I mentioned had wildly different tastes. If you could afford it, using a variety of different honeys in different Sekanjabins, could give you a lot of variety in taste, even if the rest of the ingredients were kept the same.


We have discussed, and debated how pasteurization may affect things like milk and honey previously, but this is a much more detailed discussion than before, at least on honey.


I?ve heard that you don?t need to boil and scim modern honey because it has been filtered, that what the medieval recipes were doing is removing any wax and odd bits of stuff like dead bees and parts of bees. If this is the case, then it also avoids the over boiling that some have mentioned.




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