Help Support the Bee Population by Making Your Own Hot Honey at Home
Savannah Bee Company founder and head beekeeper Ted Dennard has a recipe for the sweet and spicy sauce
Though sweet and savory have long battled for preferred flavor-profile dominance, the popularity of a number of new products we’ve seen released over the past year makes it clear there’s a new contender: spicy.
So it isn’t all that surprising that a condiment that combines all three of those flavors is kind of having a moment right now.
Ideal for use on everything from breakfast sandwiches to fried chicken and capable of functioning as a sauce, marinade or both, hot honey is now available from a number of different producers at various levels of heat.
Savannah Bee Company, which also makes a honey hot sauce, is working on bringing its own version of hot honey to market in order to get in on the action, according to company founder and head beekeeper Ted Dennard.
“Everybody’s coming out with a hot honey, including us. It’s become so, so much more popular, and that’s a good thing,” he tells InsideHook. “It may not always be good for my business for there to be a ton of competition in the honey world, but it’s good for the bees and raising the whole bar in the honey world. Also, raising awareness about how important bees are is a big win on the mission side of things. Financially, we don’t always win that way, but we’ve been in business for 20-something years now and we’re still going strong so we’re happy.”
Dennard, who has spent decades sourcing and popularizing Georgia’s monofloral Tupelo honey and is working to support, protect and increase the bee population with his not-for-profit Bee Cause Project, will be using a mixture of essential oils extracted habanero and Scotch bonnet peppers in order to heat up his honey.
“Let me tell you, that oil is like some kind of military weapon. It is hot because it’s so concentrated,” he says. “It’s going to have some flavor, and it’s damn sure going to have some heat. You’re going to be able to taste the difference. We sampled other versions and, I guess with maybe one exception, all of the honeys were like the cheapest honey you can get. I understand keeping your ultimate price down, but that’s where we don’t skimp. It’ll make ours probably a little more expensive to buy, but you’ll know where that extra dollar went.”
And, thanks to the initiatives Savannah is involved in, a portion of that extra dollar will go to help save the declining bee population
“A bee visits a flower, the flower is benefited and the bee is benefited. It’s a win-win thing. We try and run our business like that,” Dennard says. “If you’re buying honey, you’re supporting us, but we’re supporting those hundreds of beekeepers who are supporting hundreds of thousands of beehives and those beehives are supporting the planet. Support your beekeepers because they really are keeping these honeybees alive and thriving. Without beekeepers, honeybees would be in a much worse position. Those bees are making healthy plants and those healthy plants are making the food that humans and animals like to eat. Beekeepers keeping bees alive is so important and it’s vital for the food chain.”
While Savannah’s hot honey isn’t available yet, Dennard has a recipe for a simplified version that fans of sweet, savory and spicy can make in order to heat things up at home and help support bees in the process. Enjoy.
Ted Dennard’s Hot Honey Recipe
- 12 oz honey
- 1 cup peppers
- Extra jar for overflow
- The trick to making an excellent hot pepper honey is the heat, literally and figuratively:
- Slice peppers (of your choice) in half – remove seeds and stem. (Keep a few seeds if you like extra heat.)
- Pour a 12 oz jar of Wildflower honey (or the honey of your choice) into a skillet over low heat and add peppers.
- Simmer the honey and peppers for 15-20 min, do not boil. Watch carefully and turn off the heat if it starts to boil.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- Use tongs to place peppers in honey jar, then pour honey over peppers and let cool.
- Serve or save for later.
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