Imagine beekeepers so committed to flavor that they load their hives onto trucks and drive at ticketable speed through the highest mountains of Provence, just so their insects can gather nectar from plants in full bloom. Husband and wife Pierre and Brigitte Bresc and their son Jean lead such lives, creating exceptionally delicious honeys in varieties such as tilleul (linden blossom), lavender, wild thyme and rosemary, all sold under the Lo Brusc label ($10 per jar; 888-212-3224).
--Monica F. Forrestall
Jessie's, a new bakeshop in East Hampton, New York, makes its wonderful low-fat granola with honey and dried apricots by hand ($9 for 1 pound; 631-907-8735). Total brand Greek yogurt, packaged with Greek honey for drizzling, has a rich, crème fraîche-like texture ($1.79 for 5 ounces; www.totalyogurt.com). Pasticceria Steckli's almond-packed torrone (nougat) from Borgotaro (near Parma, Italy) is a marvelous showcase for the famous local millefiori honey ($12 for 10.5 ounces; 877-878-2783 or AGFerrari.com). Culinaria di Terrabianca's apricots in acacia honey, also from Italy, are delicious poured over cake ($14 for 8.8 ounces; at Dean & DeLuca; 800-221-7714). Chestnuts in honey from Barolo specialist Giacomo Ascheri, of Italy's Piedmont region, are a splendid addition to an ice cream sundae ($22 for 17 ounces; 888-212-3224).
The Beauty Buzz
Makeup artist Laura Mercier's new Collection Gourmande bath products are laced with rich, moisturizing honey, including Spiced Honey Crème Body Wash ($36 for 8 ounces; 888-MERCIER) and Honey Bath ($40 for 12 ounces). Rose's Secret Organic Facial at Spa Radiance in San Francisco uses honey blended with organic herbs, fruits and flowers to smooth the complexion ($125 for 90 minutes; 415-346-6281). The Ambrosia manicure and pedicure at the new Just Calm Down spa in New York City begins with a soak in milk, honey and cream of coconut followed by a honey-butter rub ($30 for manicure, $60 for pedicure; 212-337-0032). During the Peace treatment offered by the Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek, Colorado, guests are massaged and swaddled in a warm-honey wrap ($150 for 75 minutes; 970-748-7500). The Milk and Honey Bath at Mii Amo Spa at Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona, combines milk's gentle exfoliating properties with honey's natural moisturizers (90 minutes for $155; 888-749-2137).
Honey & Health
Is honey a health food? Gram for gram, says Nicki Engeseth, Ph.D., at the University of Illinois, honey contains as many antioxidants as apples and melons. Since you probably can't stomach a cantaloupe-size portion of honey, Engeseth suggests working it into your diet the way health-foodniks have been doing for years: by using it as a sugar substitute in tea, with fruit and in cereal. Her research has also shown that honey helps keep meat fresher, so basting Easter ham with honey is sensible as well as tasty.