Hey, Chefs! Come Judge the Honey
What’s with the black jar, anyway? Well, here’s the deal. Old timey State Fair-type honey judging has always been done on looks, way more than on flavor. In our not-so-humble opinion, however, it’s time to stand that notion on its noggin and start over.
It’s true that filtered honey is undeniably beautiful, especially when packaged in clear glass jars that show its back-lit sweeping range of colors to glowing perfection.
For the sake of optimally experiencing its full-bodied taste, however, as well as receiving its full nutritional value, the closer honey remains to its natural state the better.
That’s why Carl Chesick, head of the Center for Honeybee Research in western North Carolina, proposed what he calls a ‘rebellious designation’ of a new type of honey competition in which the judges could not actually see the honeys. They would be compared on taste alone.
The Center for Honeybee Research’s 2012 Black Jar Honey Competition is being promoted by Friends of Honeybees as a build-up to its co-sponsorship of a nationwide event planned for late 2013 to benefit community-based beekeeping activities and chemical-free honeybee research programs.
“We could have just blind-folded the judges,” Chesick quips, “but we like to watch the expressions in the eyes of the chefs and beekeepers when an unexpected honey flavor hits their taste buds. We want this competition to introduce the world to the incredible range of honey flavors that bees can produce.”
Competing honeys will be presented to judging panels in silent, dramatic black, identified by apiary and geographic region alone.
Honey entries for the Black Jar Honey Competition were held in Western North Carolina. Winning entries received awards in the amounts of $300, $150 and $75
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Chefs interested in participating in local 2013 Chefs’ Choice Black Jar tastings, events, recipe challenges, media and PR leading up to the nationwide 2012 Black Jar events, please Contact Friends of Honeybees and the Restaurants Buzz for Bees program.