Freshness of celery and sweetness of honey, Tabata Mey has prepared a recipe that is as refreshing as it is delicious. Because in the kitchen, honey has its place in places other than toast… Meet beekeeper Nicolas Bourg who tells us all about his liquid gold.
Golden, ocher or ivory, creamy or liquid, Nicolas Bourg’s honeys present a wide range of colors and textures. And for good reason, the appearance of honey is due to its glucose level. The higher the latter, the creamier the honey will be, and this glucose level varies according to the flowers visited by the bees.
Nicolas Bourg has been based on the Coiron plateau, in the extension of the Massif Central, since 2010. However, the beekeeper has chosen to practice “transhumance” beekeeping. This means that he moves his hives through the seasons in order to produce different types of honey. The beekeeper identifies three well-differentiated zones in his production circuit: the basaltic zone, the granite zone and the limestone. The first houses meadows and allows the production of flower honey, the second, located in the Cévennes, is in particular the place of production of heather honey. In the limestone area, honeys with more Mediterranean flavors are produced, such as lavender.
From the outside, a hive gives no indication of the precise organization it contains. In winter, they are inhabited by about 30,000 bees. The queen begins to lay eggs in January, then the number of bees increases, reaching a peak population of 60,000 bees in July.
Inside, there are three categories of bees: the queen that lays, the males that are used for reproduction, and the workers that work. Each of the workers makes about 400 round trips between the hive and the outside to bring back 7 g of nectar, a goldsmith job orchestrated by Nicolás. The beekeeper moves his hives from April to August so that the bees always have something to forage. He then collects the honey from the frames using a centrifuge. Nicolas Bourg regularly checks his product and, in particular, the level of humidity. “At 18% we are fine, but I like to go down to 17%, we have a rounder honey, which covers the palate better”, says the beekeeper.
Follow the step by step recipe for honey glazed celery on YouTube (ingredients, details… to read in the video description):
Thanks to his know-how and the care he puts into his hives, Nicolas Bourg’s company entered the Culinary College of France in 2021. A way of saluting this meticulous work that leads to the production of six different honeys. On the plate, the sweetest honeys, such as flower honey or acacia honey, lend themselves perfectly to sweetness. They combine wonderfully with the dairy side of ice cream or yogurt. In savory, honeys with a stronger character, such as chestnuts, go well with zucchini. For the summer, the honey jar is the best friend of a barbecue! A few tablespoons in a marinade and the meat is covered in herbaceous flavors and promises good caramelization.
We are also used to consuming this sweet nectar to drink, especially in the form of tea. But it also reveals its aromas perfectly in a cocktail recipe based on gin or whiskey. So many reasons to jump headfirst into the pot.
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“Aux Goûts du Jour”, the culinary magazine of France 3 Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, every Saturday at 11:30 a.m., presented by chef Tabata Mey.