Łukasz Stafiej www.lukaszstafiej.pl

Honey. A magical ingredient for (almost) any dish

In one of his interviews for pomorskie-prestige.eu, Krystian Szidel, executive chef at Sheraton Sopot Hotel, admitted to using honey as his personal, secret ingredient. He uses it to complete many of his delicious dishes. Natural honey, produced by happy bees from apiaries of Pomorskie region, is a delicious addition to many signature dishes of best restaurateurs.

There are as many kinds of honey, as there are types of plants processed by bees: linden, buckwheat, rapeseed, heather, acacia, multi-flower, etc… Pomorskie, famous for its climate and very clean air, is an excellent place to start an apiary. Zielona Pasieka apiary, Toporkiewicz family’s apiary, or Wędrowna Barć apiary are just several places in Pomorskie where 100% natural honey is produced.

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What are the qualities of delicious and natural honey? Most of all, it should come from a trusted producer. You can simply travel into Kaszuby or Kociewie regions to find trustworthy beekeepers. Before a purchase, it’s good to perform a “dissolution test” by putting a spoonful of honey in a glass of water. Natural honey will fall to the bottom of the glass and slowly dissolve.

It’s good to perform such a test, as natural honey is extremely beneficial. It’s rich in many different compounds: essential oils from the nectar, vitamins: A,B1,B2,B6,B12,C, folic acid, as well as organic acids. It is anti-bacterial, and beneficial for your heart.

-Honey is the source of characteristic flavours and aromas of dishes it is used in. Sugar is no match for honey, which I use a lot in my cooking – says Marcin Faliszek, head chef in Gdański Bowke Restaurant in Gdańsk. – I use rapeseed honey, which I purchase from Domagała apiary, to caramelise different vegetables, such as carrots or parsley – he adds.

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In Gdański Bowke, Marcin Faliszek serves ribs caramelised in rapeseed honey, with parsley emulsion and kale. Buckwheat honey, on the other hand, is an obligatory ingredient of oxtail sauce. The sauce spreads on beef tenderloin, which is served with Brussels sprout, roasted potato, and bone marrow.

Tomasz Górniak, head chef at Sopot-based Secretariat restaurant, also enjoys working with buckwheat honey. – The best quality honey is available at the end of July. This is when we buy it at local apiaries in Bytów – he says. – We add honey to many meat dishes, side dishes, as well as cakes. Our signature dish is beef steak tartare with mustard ice-cream, which we produce with buckwheat honey. The current menu uses honey for marinating roasted duck and fried red cabbage. It is also one of the main ingredients of our cinnamon cheesecake.

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In Gdańsk-based Correze restaurant, honey is used mainly in making desserts. – We don’t like to treat honey with high temperature, so it doesn’t lose its nutritional and medicinal properties, as well as vitamins – says Aneta Sadowska. – We use multi-flower honey to caramelise vegetables and bringing out flavour in dishes. We use forest fruit honey in our poppy seed ice-cream. We added acacia honey to buttermilk ice-cream, one of the ingredients of our cream of kohlrabi soup.

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Before anything, honey is a delicious gift of nature that melts in your mouth, and is tastes delicious in both restaurant dishes, as well as simply spread on a loaf of bread.

 

Zdjęcia: Łukasz Stafiej (www.lukaszstafiej.pl)

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