In places where warm summer weather stretches into the autumn months, bees are still foraging, and beekeepers are extracting the last of this year’s honey. If you have a chance, sample some single-flower honeys like those pictured (from left, buckwheat, blueberry, eucalyptus, and fireweed; in front, avocado). They vary strikingly in color and flavor, as opposed to honey from large-scale producers, which is generally blended for consistent color and flavor.
When cooking with honey, it’s best stick to recipes that call specifically for honey rather than making a substitution. If you do choose to substitute honey for sugar in baking, be sure to reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees (to prevent excess browning) and use 1 part honey for every 1-1/4 parts sugar. For every 1 cup honey, reduce the other liquids in the recipe by 1/4 cup and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to help neutralize the honey’s acidity.