It’s All About the Bees at Sticky Situations
Stephen Clemente, the creative force behind Semolina and Extra Virgin, our favorite haunts for vinegar, olive oil and pasta (you’ll always find a few bottles of his Blood Orange vinegar in my pantry) has expanded his empire. This time he’s sharing his fascination with honey, and it’s quite a sweet story. Many apiaries receive sugared water or supplements during the winter, but not Stephen’s very special bees. They nosh on nectar all year round. Working with family farms that produce single crops, his colonies hit the road around Columbus Day; heading to farms in the south, then making their way west, and finally come springtime, back home to Connecticut. During their travels they pollinate crops, and then, in turn, the crops are used to infuse the flavored honeys. It’s brilliant! For example, that scrumptious cinnamon honey is created at a cinnamon farm in Georgia: the bees pollinate the cinnamon, and the bark is ground to infuse the honey. Cranberry bogs in Lakeville, MA flavor the cranberry honey (a personal favorite), and that ridiculous chocolate version hails from Texas. It’s a fascinating (and labor intensive process), but reminds us exactly how important bees are to our global food supply.
Education is a big part of Stephen’s retail philosophy, and he’s an engaging teacher, happy to share his knowledge of the sticky stuff, how it’s created, and just how important bees are to human survival (and no I’m not being dramatic!). At the shop, help yourself to tastings of the sixteen different kinds of honey, then pick your favorite and head over to the Vinaigrette Bar for a custom mixing. I chose a blend of cranberry honey, that blood orange vinegar, and unfiltered olive oil. Stephens secret weapon is a pastry brush; it properly emulsifies the ingredients. For folks who prefer savory over sweet, Stephen’s preferred blend is basil fennel oil, tarragon vinegar, and lemon honey. The shops are connected so make sure to pick up a few bottles of vinegar, extra virgin unfiltered olive oil, and organic pasta, too.
More info and shop online here: www.stickysituationsmystic.com
Learn Stephen’s method for making the perfect vinaigrette in this video: