Savour the sweetest nectar
A passion for the beehive’s golden nectar blossoms into fruition at Honey & Co.
The Mireskandari women have a long history of bringing visitors to The Rocks all things fashionable, uniquely Australian, and irresistibly delicious.
For 27 years, matriarch Shala operated Wombat at The Rocks, which specialised in the latest UGG boot fashions. Recently, her daughters opened their namesake boutique, Shab and Shadi, on George Street—home to “everything beautiful”. The family’s latest venture, Honey & Co., which opens in The Rocks Centre this month, is a treasure trove of all things honey.
“Mum has always thought that Australia and New Zealand do such beautiful honey, we should open a store specialising in it,” explains Shadi. “We love being able to show off the amazing honey products that Australia has to offer. To educate people about how to consume honey and enjoy it more than just on toast is gorgeous.”
“Most of the time people buy honey from supermarkets and it’s not actually real honey, so it all tastes the same,” she says.
Commercially produced honey often has no traces of pollen and is a ‘dead’ rather than ‘live’ product. Consequently, these products lack not only flavour but also the beneficial vitamins, enzymes and corresponding health benefits of true honey.
Look instead for honey that is minimally processed, such as raw and organic products. Single origin honeys, like Tasmanian leatherwood honey, are affected by their unique combination of geography, climate and soil. Just like wine, this terroir imparts complex flavours that dramatically affects the sensory qualities of each varietal.
“The other thing to note about Manuka honey is that the brand has to be certified,” says Shadi. “A lot of people don’t realise they’re just buying normal honey otherwise.” She notes that Superbee has the biggest range of certified UMF® Manuka Honey.
Honey & Co.’s extensive range of raw, organic and gourmet honeys are carefully sourced from the best honey-producing regions. Among the intriguing flavours on offer are saffron, macadamia crunch, eucalyptus, and creamed vintage.
“A lot of people don’t know what creamed honey is,” says Shadi. “They think cream is added to the honey, but actually it’s a complicated process similar to making sourdough, where a little of an old batch is added to a new batch and 100% raw honey is whipped to produce that incredible creamy consistency… The Superbee Cinnamon Creamed Honey, which is raw honey infused with real cinnamon, is one of the most beautiful honeys I have ever tasted.”
Shadi also loves the Truffle Honey from Maya Sunny Honey, which is infused with pieces of real truffle. She recommends mixing it through soft goat’s cheese and presenting it on a platter with nuts, fruit and crackers.
“It’s so amazing. It takes your cheese to the next level. I cannot have goat’s cheese now without honey—either the truffle or saffron. It’s just to die for.”
Then there’s the ginger honey, with its pieces of candied ginger, which is incredible for cooking. “Just drizzle a little over roast vegetables—it’s simple but it adds a whole other dimension.”
The sisters are currently sourcing the best lavender honey from Western Australia. With its subtle perfumed aroma, this honey is heavenly in hot drinks and baked goods or spread over warm scones.
“Real honey is like wine; there’re so many different varieties and if you’re a honey lover you really come to appreciate all of the different types. Once you’ve had good honey you can’t go back.”