Thursday, August 23, 2012

Miel d'Anicet (Organic Honey made in Quebec)

Honey can have depth of flavor beyond just simple sweetness, and a honey's flavor varies greatly depending on the time of year, and what flowering plants are within a bee's range.  I knew this to be true on an intellectual level only in all honesty.  A honey tasting like the one I experienced at the boutique on the Organic Honey Farm Api Culture Hautes Laurentides this summer made this knowledge much more tangible for me: the subtle sweetness, and pleasantly bitter flavor of spring honey made up almost entirely from the nectar of dandelions; the explosion of flavor summer honey provides with nectar gathered from so many different wild blooms; a spicy honey made mostly from the nectar of wild mint! The various honeys in question bare the logo Miels d'Anicet.  Anicet is the given name of Anicet Desrochers (the son of the original founders), who is part owner of Api Culture Hautes Laurentides. None of Miel d'Anicet's honeys are pasteurized, and so the complex flavors are retained as well as their medicinal benefits.

Boutique Miels D'Anicet

My children and I were the tasters, and a friend of mine who works a Api Culture Hautes Laurentides provided the samples.  This friend makes and creates beauty products primarily derived from honey, as well as edible treats on site.  Api Culture Hautes Laurentides has garnered some fame for their incredible honey, and honey based edible and beauty products, as well as their ecological sensibility.  A recent documentary has added to this fame:
The Ailing Queen follows Anicet Desrochers, a beekeeper in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec, as he spreads the word about his pioneering ecological methods of breeding bees to be naturally resistant to disease. Supplying healthy queens to those in need, Desrochers helps fellow beekeepers restore their colonies and cope with the perplexities of a large-scale crisis of which the public is still largely unaware. 

 Boutique located farm Farm site: various handmade soaps
Ferme Apicole Desrochers inc., which falls under the umbrella of Api Culture Hautes Laurentides, produces some very fine mead from Anicet's honey, and is run by Anicets’s sister Naline Dupuis-Desrochers and her partner Géraud Bonnet. Mead is a fermented beverage made of water and honey, malt, and yeast, which I had the pleasure of sampling. I bought several bottles to give as gifts.

The boutique on site offers all the above mentioned products and many more at very reasonable prices. The farm is located in Ferme-Neuve, Quebec, admittedly a long haul from Montreal (over three hours), but well worth a visit. Luckily their products can also be ordered on line Visit there site.  However asking your local grocery store if they will stock their products is a great way to encourage a local and ecologically respectful enterprise. Their site does provide store locations where their products are sold.

English press about Api Culture Hautes Laurentides

Where the honey collecting occurs.  
Care is taken to remove honey without damaging honeycombs.

 The honey Farm in Ferme-Neuve, Quebec.  Hives in the distance

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