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Spring Harvest: Honey

Stephen Brown

Honey - Florida springtime crop - McCoy's Sunny South ApiariesAlthough honey is not grown like a traditional crop, those crops help in its production. Florida is one of the largest producers of honey in the country, with 200,000 honey colonies in 2010 producing 13.8 million pounds of the sweet stuff, worth nearly $22 million. Simply put, bees are big business in Florida. And the honey they produce is some of the tastiest in America, creating the combed nectar from orange blossom, wildflower and Tupelo.

    When scoring some fresh honey, be wary of the supermarket variety, which is often a mixture of foreign honeys that do not have the same regulations as Florida. In 2009, the state legislature enacted a law that any product produced in Florida as honey must be nectar harvested by honeybees—with no additives, preservatives or flavoring. Try honey from Loxahatchee-based McCoy’s Sunny South Apiaries, a family business stretching back to 1943—and in South Florida since 1984—that specializes in orange blossom, wildflower and palmetto honeys.

 

Honey Orange-Glazed Florida Grouper

Honey wears many hats. You can add it to a cup of tea as a sweetener, spread a thin layer on some toast to start the morning or use it in a glaze like this recipe from Fresh From Florida Chef Justin Timineri:

 

Honey Orange Glazed Florida Grouper

Serves 2

Honey Orange Glazed Florida Grouper - Fresh From Florida chef Justin Timineri - Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3/4 pound grouper fillets

Preheat broiler. Combine all ingredients except grouper, mixing well.

   Place fillets on an oiled broiler pan and brush fillets with honey glaze to cover. Broil 5-6 inches from heat for 4-5 minutes until browned. Turn fillets, brush with honey glaze and broil additional 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily.


 

Recipe and grouper image courtesy of Chef Justin Timineri and the Florida Department of Consumer Services.

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