Ethiopia is well-known for a few things, honey being one of them. Farmers will hang homemade hives in the trees of the forests, and depending on what flowers are around, all different types of honey will emerge. Each region has their own special flavors.
There is one shop in town I usually buy my honey from. Most of the time they have red or white. The white is thick and opaque, and deliciously sweet. The red is translucent and has a very distinct flavor, I can’t really describe it. Today, there was a third option. It was neon green.
I was skeptical to try this third option; anything that is neon green usually means something went wrong. But I trust my honey guy, and he poured some into a cup for me and the other customers to try. I’ll attest, this new kind of honey was something all together different. It was delicious, as all honey is here. I can’t help but wonder what kinds of flowers these bees were visiting. I gave him my little plastic container and asked for a kilo.
I love watching the honey shop as they pour their orders. Bees are flocking around like it’s their very own hive and they are desperate to get back in. As the honey folds into the container, the bees sometimes get too close and take a dive into their own sticky creation. When a kilo has been weighed out, the shop owner takes a small spoon and dips it in to carefully remove the bees. I think at first this may have grossed me out, thinking about insects being in something I’m about to eat. Now, I just marvel at the nature of the whole experience. This isn’t honey that’s been processed and packed and shipped across the world. This is from bees that are flying around me and flowers that are in the forests near my home. It’s a flavor so unique I can’t even describe it, and it’s certainly not something that can be duplicated.