Liquid Gold Event with CT bloggers
Last Sunday, I co-hosted a Connecticut Bloggers Collective "Liquid Gold" Event in collaboration with Red Bee Apiary in Weston, CT. Red Bee is a honey barn located on the western side of our nutmeg state and is home to a colony of honey bees churning out some of the best honey in Connecticut. A select group of food and lifestyle bloggers arrived prior to the networking social for a curated guided honey tasting hosted by Red Bee owner, beekeeper, honey sommelier, and author, Marina Marchese (as seen below holding the honey comb). I can not describe how excited I was to experience something so unique and incredibly specialized. From learning about the different types of bees to the different types of honey, it was an experience to write home about. It was both a privilege and honor to be able to partake in this. Scroll down for more...
"From learning about the different types of bees to the different types of honey, it was an experience to write home about."
ABOUT RED BEE APIARY
Our guided tasting began with a brief introduction on Marina's journey with bees and with details about the life of bees! Marina, a life long artist, purchased the land the Apiary sits on many years ago without a vision of bees ever becoming a key part of the vision. Many years later, a neighbor invited her over to taste fresh honey from his beehive and following this interesting and eye opening encounter, Marina began her quest to be a beekeeper; all which has led her to were she is today. Fast forward to 2018; two books, a thriving Italian bee colony, blossoming honey and honey skin care products, and the Red Bee brand, it is fair to say that she is building a bee empire in the Nutmeg state!
RED BEE HONEY TASTING EXPERIENCE
We sat at a beautiful table with the most glorious floral arrangement by Stems & Co, that was set up for a guided tasting of a flight of 5 different honeys that each had a specialty pairing. On our plates, there were crackers, goat cheese, mandarin orange, and rosemary, brie and blueberries, dark chocolate and an almond sliver, grated coconut and pollen, and a helping of honey with the honey comb with gold flakes. In front of the plate, from left to right, Orange Blossom honey (paired with goat cheese, mandarin orange, and rosemary), Blueberry blossom honey (paired with brie and blueberries), Buckwheat honey (paired with dark chocolate and almond) , and crystalline Clover honey (paired with coconut and pollen). Each pairing was incredibly delectable. The naive tongue would think that they all tasted the same with maybe minor differences. However, Marina guided our minds and sensory organs to experience the profound subtleties in each distinct honey. The Orange Blossom honey has a rich floral undertone and busty citrusy flavor and pairs well with goat cheese and mandarin orange; neutralizing the gamey taste goat cheese has and creating this sweet & slightly tangy flavor. It also happened to my absolute favorite pairing which is shocking seeing that I don't typically like goat cheese. The second runner up for me was the rich and woodsy Buckwheat honey. It was a deeper color than the rest and also a deeper flavor; almost similar to maple syrup. I could imagine this one drizzled on a crepe with a dollop of liqueured mascarpone. Scroll down for more...
"The naive tongue would think that they all tasted the same with maybe minor differences. However, Marina guided our minds and sensory organs to experience the profound subtleties in each distinct honey."
OF BEES & HONEY
Bees are peculiar and fascinating creatures! Our world today is beginning to put more and more emphasis on bees and bee conservancy due to how important they are to the natural order. Not only do bees create delicious honey, but they are the most important pollinator of plants and food crops. Bees are vital to a thriving agricultural system.
"Not only do bees create delicious honey, but they are the most important pollinator of plants and food crops."
The dynamics of each beehive are even more fascinating. As noted by Marina, each hive is run by a single Queen Bee whose sole job is go out once in her life to mate with male bees and come back and lay eggs for the rest of her lifetime (4-5 years). The hive is run by female worker bees whose job is to care for young, set flight for nectar, and make honey to feed the hive. The process in which honey is made is amazing! Worker bees collect nectar and store it in their honey stomach which is a separate compartment from their regular stomach. Then, they take the nectar back to the hive were they pass it on from bee to bee until they form honey. The honey is then deposited into the wax honeycomb. However, the honey is still thin, so the bees flap their wings until it becomes sticky. When they are done with this process, they seal each cell in the honeycomb with wax to keep it clean.
Overall, I had a fantastic experience. Following the tasting, Red Bee opened up a Taste & Test bar upstairs for other bloggers were we got to network in a rustic setting over honey cocktails by Leaf & Ardor Tea, a honey bar featuring all the honey listed above paired with yoghurt and ricotta, and a full self-service test bar of all Red Bee skin care products. Due to how small the group was, it was intimate and it was nice to talk to every single person who was in attendance. A very special thank you to Marina and her team (Emily), for having us at the Red Bee barn. It is fair to say that most everyone had a great time! If you would like to book an event with Red Bee, be sure to reach out to Red Bee Apiary via their website www.redbee.com! Until next time loves, big bisous!