Taste-testing apples and honey. Apples and honey are the quintessential Rosh Hashanah snack. We eat them and hope that we will be blessed with sweetness in the coming year. But there are so many kinds of honey, and even more kinds of apples, and they’re not all created (or priced) equal. Here at the MyJewishLearning headquarters we taste tested six kinds of honey with three different kinds of apples to help you choose the best combination for your Rosh Hashanah table. Here are our findings from Tamar Fox, associate editor; Matthue Roth, associate editor; and Jeremy Moses, editorial fellow:
Honey Acres Beekeeper’s Best
Clover honey, 4oz. ($3.25)
This was the lightest colored honey we tasted, and the favorite. With tones of orange, and an airiness that none of its competitors had, it went well with all of the apples we tried, but was best with Gala apples.
Honey Acres Beekeeper’s Best
Wildflower honey, 4oz. ($3.25)
This honey was slightly darker than its clover counterpart, and had a rich maple taste that stayed in our mouths for a long time. There were notes of chocolate, as well, and we guessed that this would be a great choice for a peanut butter and honey sandwich. It really sang with the Granny Smith apples.
Pure Buckwheat Honey
16 oz. $5.59
This was a divisive honey. Jeremy thought it tasted “like an insect” and was turned off by the very dark brown color and the aroma of molasses, but Matthue thought it tasted like a thick beer. It reminded Tamar of bran muffins and wheat germ. Jeremy thought it was best with the Granny Smith apples, but Tamar preferred it with Red Delicious.
Pure Honeycomb 12 oz. $8.29
This came in a box instead of a jar, and we ate little chunks of it set on top of apple slices. Though all honey is sticky, this was by far the stickiest of the honeys we tried, and the membrane of the honeycomb was gummy and stayed in our mouths longer than we really liked. Somehow it tasted healthy, and unprocessed (which it is) and we found that we liked that more in theory than we did in practice. Its strange character went best with Gala apples.
Extra Virgin Honey, 12oz, $6.98
Extra Virgin Honey appears to be the same thing as raw honey, which is the concentrated nectar from flowers, unpasteurized and unprocessed. It’s a little thicker than peanut butter, and a milky white color. It reminded us of fudge, or ice cream that wasn’t cold. It had to be spread on the apples, rather than dipped, but we loved it with the Red Delicious.
Cinnamon Creme Honey 8 oz $4.98
Cinnamon Creme Honey is honey whipped with cinnamon, and it really knocked our socks off with its richness and warmth. There were tones of mint, which surprised us, and though it tasted great by itself, it felt a little bit disingenuous, like cheating, to spread it on apple slices. We don’t think it really counts as honey for your Rosh Hashanah table, which is good, because it didn’t pair well with any of the apples. It was delicious, but we recommend trying it on a toasted bagel, or heating it up and pouring it over vanilla ice cream.
Enjoy, and have a Sweet New Year!
Pronounced: roshe hah-SHAH-nah, also roshe ha-shah-NAH, Origin: Hebrew, the Jewish new year.