Haagen-Dazs Reserve: Hawaiian Lehua Honey & Sweet Cream Ice Cream
Celeste and Ed are local beekeepers. They had a beautiful honey in 2007 that we really enjoyed. Last summer we savored it over goat cheese on Ryvita crackers. We're still trying to imagine what plants their bees pollinated because the honey was very light, but not too sweet, and had the most amazing mint finish to its flavor. Much like wine is influenced by the grapes used, as well as the climate, soil, and weather conditions in which they are grown, the color and taste of honey is influenced by the plants the bees visit and the time of year in which the honey is extracted from the hive.
This morning, Celeste forwarded an email from Haagen-Dazs promoting one of their Reserve ice creams, Hawaiian Lehua Honey & Sweet Cream:
Flavor notes--Rich, sumptuous waves of cream mingled with evocative glimpses of tropical honey. The rare and delicate texture of the Lehua honey is entirely different from any honey you've ever tasted.
Inspiration--Lehua honey comes from the remote volcanic slopes of Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii. There, honeybees gather nectar from the Ohia tree's fragrant Lehua blossoms. These beautiful red flowers are the unique flavor source for this rare, amber honey.
Food pairings--Serve on a freshly baked Belgian waffle, then try to resist the aroma of the warm waffle mingling with the cool ice cream and tropical honey.
Wine pairings--A rich and balanced Sauternes from France.
Don't race off to the shops just yet: this flavor is available only in Hawaii, according to the company's website.
Food pairings? Wine pairings? I laughed a bit when I read the copy. We've enjoyed our annual visits to the vineyards of Northern Virginia with our dear friends, Shawn Ann and Patrick, for nearly ten years. The wine tasting notes are very similar in tone and content to this press release. Evidently that was the intention on the part of the copywriters since the ice cream line is labeled Reserve, after all. It's a bit precious and pretentious to me. It certainly left me wondering what, or whether, the beekeepers of the Big Island think about it. But no matter. I'm sure it's wholesome and heavenly-tasting. I hope the consumers of Hawaii will truly enjoy it!