Hallasan Honey

A jar of honey shaped like a totem, with the label "Hallasan Honey" from Jeju Island in South Korea

Only Jeju…

From the volcanic earth of the island of Jeju, rise a variety of plants (tropical to subarctic) to make it green above the black rock. A popular destination amongst the South Koreans themselves, this island is famous for the Haneyo’s expertly caught seafood, cactus fruit tea, black pig barbecues and of course, Mt Hallasan’s honey.

The honey bottle does not describe any specifics (in English) about the source of the nectar that makes up this honey, so I suspect it is made up of a mixture of the wild vegetation that grows on the mountain. The honey is very runny and has a light golden, translucent colour; it’s like liquid gold.

The smell of this honey reminds me of grapes, red grapes that are just past perfect ripeness into the acidic vinegary smell but has also a hint of black tea. It is a smell that lingers for a little while as though it were a thin curtain drawn over your nostrils, concealing other smells until you have had enough of this one.

After having a spoonful (with our household’s designated honey spoon), I have to say, it is not a particularly sweet honey, I would say it is more medicinal in flavour, tangy. The honey itself doesn’t have a strong flavour either, nor does it have the usual buttery texture most honeys have. It simply disappears as soon as it touches your tongue. But what it does, it leaves behind an unbelievable aftertaste. For such subtle honey flavour, the aftertaste is extremely vivid. The aftertaste not only lasts a long while, it burns the back of your throat. An unusual combination of flavour stages but so interesting.

I will be trying this again on toast and in tea, I have a feeling it will be just right to stir into a cup of hot tea.

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