Four Exotic Variations of Honey

From ghost pepper to macadamia nuts, alternative flavor profiles for the much loved sweetener

Honey complements a myriad of delectable dishes and drinks outside of the expected tea and toast. Its dynamic sweetness, syrupy thickness and versatility in the kitchen make options plentiful. Recently, we’ve tasted a handful of alternative honeys and found their application further spreadable. The following four options present distinct flavor profiles beyond traditional expectations—and for us, most of them were not only a surprise, but surprisingly good.

Geddes Farms Ghost Pepper Honey

This is what happens when you take one of the hottest known peppers and immerse it in raw honey. While Geddes Farms Ghost Pepper Honey ($15) is smooth and sweet upfront, it has growing heat that truly stays put. As far as infused honey goes, this is highly versatile—and would match hot wings well, but could also punch up any drink requiring sweetness. The honey itself is made from a polyfloral sustainable source. Geddes Farms also notes that when the honey is done, you’re welcome to eat the pepper that’s submerged within—if you dare.

Wedderspoon Gold Organic Raw Thyme Honey

At this year’s NYC Fancy Food Show we sampled some of Wedderspoon’s Organic Raw Thyme Honey ($18). While the sweetness and thickness of the honey (which is non-GMO and pesticide-free) lived up to expectation, the woodsy and herbal notes make it something entirely uncommon. The brand recommends using this honey for root vegetable marinades—or getting wild with exotic stews. Both seem like ideal foodie adventures.

Bee Sting Granulated Spicy Honey Blend

This might be another chili pepper honey, but it’s completely different than any other on the market. The Bee Sting Granulated Spicy Honey Blend ($14) isn’t a syrup—it comes in granule form, in a packet. And those sweet little honey bits have been punctuated by ancho chile peppers. This is another dynamic product, with plenty of uses, but perhaps the best suggestion: sprinkle it on bacon.

Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Blossom Raw Honey

From Hawaii’s Big Island comes Macadamia Nut Blossom Raw Honey ($11), produced from the nectar of macadamia nut tree blossoms. As one would expect, there is a nuttiness to the character but it’s also very floral. There’s an almost extra-thick texture and a deeper coloration. A honey like this pairs ideally with cheeses and fruits, but the brand suggests a honey-herb vegetable sauce, as well.

Geddes Farms image by Cool Hunting, other images courtesy of respective brands