Honey from Lourmarin

Miel de Lourmarin

Yet another edible souvenir I brought back from my stay in Lourmarin over the Easter week-end: this large jar of thick and gloriously amber-colored honey.

I happen to have somewhat childish tastes in honey, and I am often put off by honeys that taste too much like sap, sharp and woodsy to the point of bitterness. This probably makes me a dilettante honey lover — just like real hardcore coffee lovers are supposed to appreciate strong hardcore coffee — but I think I can live with that.

Luckily, this particular honey is one of the most flowery and mellow I have ever been given to taste. It was produced by my aunt’s beehives and harvested by her, late last summer. She explained to me that since the bees feed on the nectar from different kinds of flowers at different times of the year, each season brings its own blend and shade of honey. But last year she had to skip the end-of-spring harvest, so this honey is a mix of the bees’ spring and summer production, making it a highly polyfloral honey — also called miel mille-fleurs or thousand flower honey. It has the texture I like best, velvety but slightly grainy, like an embroidered drapery, and it is delightfully sweet with no bitter hint, complexly flavored but instantly pleasing to the palate.

In addition to this — which I immediately shared with my neighbors because they like honey so much and I am such a good friend — my Lourmarin bounty also included a few rounds of locally produced goat cheese in various stages of ripeness (they are but a distant memory now, but they were really good friends with the honey) and fresh herbs from the garden: sage, blossoming rosemary, and even a small thyme plant, which travelled happily on the train with me for Maxence to add to our little herb patch.

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  • Eva

    Oh, that honey sounds wonderful! And the goat cheese… heaven!

  • Sylvie

    We’ve tasted it with homemade oatmeal rolls : absolutely delicious ! un régal !

  • Ana Cardia

    Yum! I love honey too! I brought some to the US with me from Brazil when I went there last December. It was from my uncle’s farm, he also produces honey. It is one of the best honeys ever! Your honey looks lovely!!

  • Alisa

    Just last week I read an article about pairing honey with various bleu cheeses. The idea is blossoming!

  • Tea

    mmm! Your honey sounds fabulous! I’ve also just tried a new kind of honey – honeycomb honey. Chewing on honeycomb was an interesting experience. Honey is so versatile…I’ll never get tired of it. Enjoy your honey! =)

  • B Adcock

    Lourmarin is a beautiful place, and Provencal honey? Mmmmmmmmmm.

    I have some lavender honey that I bought from a market in Aix-en-Provence. The very kind woman who was selling it offered tastes to my husband and me, and explained the various types to us, which of course I couldn’t understand with my high school French, so it was smile-and-nod time again.

    Is your aunt’s honey available for sale anywhere in Lourmarin?

  • Willson

    As for sweetness – – what do you think of a grade A maple syrup? Too ‘sap’py?

    I’m not being fresh; just trying to understand this ‘sappiness’ that you attribute to some honeys.

  • ddj

    Wow – that honey is beautiful. The opacity makes it looks so natural and unprocessed.

    I understand that a popular honey is sold from the beehives in the Jardin du Luxembourg. I doubt that comes close to this.

  • That sounds absolutely wonderful! I want an aunt like that!

  • What a lovely metaphor: ‘velvety but slightly grainy, like an embroidered drapery’. It made me think of the ‘millefleur’ backgrounds of those beautiful Lady and the Unicorn tapestries in the the Musee de Cluny – so thank you!

  • c&z.

    i just brought some miel back from argentina – both crystallized and liquid. i love the crystallized honey with peanut on sandwiches! as for the liquid miel, i slather it on sliced strawberries and sandwich that!


  • Last year I was at the New York Food Festival, and there I bought a jar of honey from Greece. Just outstanding! Golden, and such silky texture. I am savoring the jar for as long as I can!!

    I like to use honey with one of my slightly astringent green teas. Just a drop of honey makes it so much smooth! Try it some times.

  • If you ever get a chance, try this lovely white honey from Hawaii. It is superb.


  • Helen

    Honey lovers must read a wonderful new book by Holley Bishop: Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey. Beautifully written, facinating history of human culture as it revolves around honey. I just finished it and have a new reverence for this liquid gold. Yum.

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