Have you ever really tasted honey? Most people generally categorize honey as just “sweet” – but because bees gather nectar from different plants and flowers, the way their honey looks, tastes, and even feels can be wildly different.
Native to Himalaya region, the Neem tree is known and used for its medicinal and Ayurvedic properties. Bees that take their nectar from neem flowers produce a dark honey that is robust and richly flavored. As an added bonus, dark honeys have more antioxidants than lighter honeys.
So what does Neem honey taste like?
Before you taste Neem honey, you might smell maple syrup, chai tea, caramel, and wild blackberry.
Once this honey hits your taste buds, you’ll notice warm flavors, like caramel, molasses, burnt sugar, and dark fruit. As the flavor blooms, you may taste a distinct bitterness, incorporating copper and earthy flavors.
Neem is truly a sweet and savory honey. Because it features such distinct flavoring, Neem can be used to enhance your food in several ways. Here are some of our favorites:
Think of Neem like molasses or brown sugar. The rich flavor adds warmth and richness to baked goods and hot breakfast cereals. Swirl into oatmeal, or use to sweeten whole grain breads.
Because it is so full-flavored, Neem honey makes an excellent baste. Neem honey holds its own against meats and fish, and brings out gamey flavors. Try one of our favorite bastes and make delicious Garlic Honey Baked Chicken.
Pair strong, musty cheeses like Gorgonzola, blue cheese, and Stilton with Neem honey. Then, round out your cheese plate with fresh figs, dark chocolate, and sips of tawny port to complete the flavor profile.
Get at least three jars of different types of honey (like Neem, Acacia, and White) and have a honey tasting. Take a little bit of each honey on a spoon, and let it melt over your tongue. Jot down notes about the flavors you taste in each variety on a piece of paper. When you know what honey and what flavors you like, you can create better food pairings for all of your gourmet needs.