Food from The Philippines: Honey pollinated by banana bees

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ July 11th, 2010. Updated on May 30th, 2012. Published in: Travel blog » Food around the world » Filipino food.
Banana flavored Honey with a banana

The nectar from banana flowers create a wildly sweet overtone to this fantastic honey (click to enlarge)

Banana Honey

I like honey. It tastes good, and is packed with goodness. But as I travel it’s rare that I would actually buy a jar of honey. It’s not so easy to carry around, and it’s not the sort of thing you can eat a lot of, quickly.

The only time I’ve bought it is when I’ve has a sore throat. The last time was in Nepal. Mixed with lemon, it’s a good cure all.

However, during a recent trip back to the Bukidnon Highlands I came across a small bottle of dark honey. And, couldn’t resist. Much to my surprise the sweet thick honey had a distinctly different flavor to it. Something I couldn’t put my finger on until I saw the banana plantations nearby.

Honey from the Philippines tastes different:

As the saying goes. You are what you eat! In this case old Jack fruit trees have been replaces by banana plantations near to where the bee farms are. The bees pollinate both the Jack fruit and Banana trees. Resulting in their honey tasting of these fruits depending on the season.

Pouring a spoon of honey onto a plate

A hot and humid climate makes photographing honey a unique challenge!

I know in the west people infuse honey with various subtle flavors like cinnamon, or  lavender. But that’s basically soaking the honey with extract of whatever flavor you want.

Why this honey tastes better:

Now imagine a flavor becoming a part of honey right from it’s very origins. Bees do this better than man. The flavor is rich with a delicate overtone that lasts in your mouth for some time.

It’s also completely addictive. And, so for the first time I am now carrying around a small bottle of honey. A teaspoon, here, a spoonful there.

It’s not a permanent thing, but at only about $1 a plastic  bottle, it’s well worth trying out should you come across it.

Filipinos are not so impressed by this honey, but then subtle tastes are not such a big thing here. Little do they know just how potent this sticky golden syrup really is to the taste buds!

This is an additional post and one of a series highlighting Great food from the Philippines


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13 Great responses to Food from The Philippines: Honey pollinated by banana bees

  1. ciki says:

    i love that second shot! honey rocks.. especially a mug of warm honey with lemon on a rainy night.. wow, nothing beats that:) I agree on the subtle differences in flavours – must let me try the dark one when i come to the Philippines:)

    • -ciki- Dark honey is my favorite, so long as it’s not too sweet. Better hurry in getting here :)

      -Bill Mackie- No not tried. I am afraid most of the ice cream over here does not impress me at all. But, yes, if I could I would!

      -lainie liberti- Nice to see you here! Door to door honey salesman! Now that’s good! I had one in Africa, but he used to put it in old whiskey bottles … rather unwashed ones. Interesting to say the least!

      -Eli- Yep, it’s really interesting. The potentials are huge in this area if the flowers are aromatic enough. Would love to know what honey near coco pods tastes like!!

      -Susan York- Thank you. Yes, honey is a lot better than sugar for sweetening things. Smoothies included. Over here they just use sugar. I can only hope one day they will develop a sensitive pallet in the Philippines!

  2. Bill Mackie says:

    I never even thought about this. Makes perfect sense. Imagine this with ice cream. Have you tried?

  3. Oh wow, my mouth is watering.. sounds amazing. We have a door to door honey sales man here here in Guatemala, selling honey from his hives. I love the connection between the hive guardian and the honey that ends up in my tea, thought that was the ultimate experience….until I read this. :) Enjoy and I am sharing a cup of tea (with honey) with you right now!

  4. Eli says:

    I always knew that bees were up to something. That’s crazy that the honey gets infused with the taste of whatever they’re pollenating with.

  5. Susan York says:

    I love honey and this is such an interesting and great take on the bees.

    Infused honey? I will look more into that. I season many of my smoothie’s and milkshakes with honey and there is no better flavor. I also use it in salad dressings. LOVE HONEY!

    Great perspective and love to follow your blog…especially now that you are carrying around your little bottle of honey!

  6. Krista says:

    I love this! :-) My grandmother believed honey was THE cure all for everything. :-) We took it for colds, applied it to sunburns, frostbite, the works. “Put a little honey on it” became a family mantra and joke. :-) Banana honey sounds amazing!

  7. Aurora says:

    Mmmm, sounds yummy! Honey is fantastic! My family had bees for many years and we would use honey for EVERYTHING! It’s really interesting how different it can taste depending on which flowers it comes from!

    • -Aurora- Hi there & welcome! Honey is so good the world over. And, it tastes so different the world over too! Even more so depending on the flowers. Again, I’d really be interested in tasting honey from near a coco plantation. Chocolate honey!

  8. Aurora says:

    Oh yes! Chocolate honey sounds absolutely awesome! Definitely have to try that one day!

  9. Tim says:

    On my first visit to PI I made the mistake of adding honey to a peanut butter sandwich not realizing the bread and peanut butter had added sugar. It was so sweet I almost went into shock!

    • Oh dear. That’s not so good. But true, I’ve had the local peanut butter too. I tried to mix it with some meat once, as in a satay … near same effect. Is there nothing with sugar added here!