J Friend And Co
Single source varietal honey.
- CategoryJams, preserves, honey
- Address29b Coleridge Street, Sydenham, Christchurch, New Zealand
- Phone0800-335 245
- Website nzartisanhoney.co.nz
- J Friend & Co Pohutukawa Honey | Supreme Winner 2012
- J Friend & Co Beechwood Honeydew Honey | Winner 2011
- J Friend & Co New Zealand Artisan Wild Thyme Honey | Winner 2010
J Friend and Co has transformed our honey landscape. Whereas once we purchased clover honey blends or splashed out on manuka, J Friend and Co has drawn our attention to honeys as diverse as wild thyme; vipers bugloss; beechwood honeydew; and pohutukawa.
J Friend and Co Wild Thyme Honey was a Cuisine Artisan Award runner-up in 2010, while 2011 recognised the Beechwood Honeydew variety. And in 2012, the floral, pale golden J Friend and Co Pohutukawa Honey was the very deserving winner of our supreme award.
The judging panel praised the honey’s butterscotch flavour, offset by a subtle hint of salt, and its creamy, slightly chewy texture.
Company owner Jeremy Friend says pohutukawa honey is particularly special because the vibrant red flowers bloom only sporadically, depending on the weather. The region and vintage of every J Friend honey is stipulated on each jar – the winning pohutukawa was harvested in the Coromandel’s Ongahi Bay during the summer of 2010, which was a particularly good flowering season.
“It’s one of the more difficult honeys to work with, but when you get it right it’s lovely,” says Jeremy. “The texture really sings and you get those wonderful floral notes.”
Since launching J Friend and Co, Jeremy and his partner, Sharyn Woodnorth, have built up a careful network of trusted beekeepers, all of whom follow organic principles to produce the golden nectar. Honey straight from the hives now trundles up and down the country to Christchurch, where Jeremy personally oversees the processing of each vintage and variety.
The degree of heat applied to the honey during the filtering and creaming processes is critical, he says, and can be affected by such factors as humidity, so a keen eye is necessary to detect when the honey’s reached the optimum stage. Just like a good sourdough, a little of the previous batch of each particular honey is added to it during the processing.
And what should you do with pohutukawa honey? Jeremy says it pairs well with a hard sheep’s cheese such as pecorino, while Sharyn recommends stirring it through ricotta to accompany poached fruit, or making a dressing of gently heated honey, olive oil and a little lemon juice.
The launch of the range is the realisation of a long held desire by Jeremy Friend and Sharyn Woodnorth to introduce others to the myriad of flavours good quality single varietal honey provides.
“We have always been fascinated by honey but frustrated by the lack of quality honey available to consumers. The majority of honey on the market is blended, over processed, over heated and poorly packaged- resulting in a generic flavoured and generally bland honey.
Quality is the key-we only select honeys from artisan Beekeepers who are truly passionate about their craft".
Each release of NZ Artisan Honey is produced in small, quality batches, with specific labels for each vintage much like a good wine. Each label states the specific floral varietal source, the name of the beekeeper, the vintage and the specific region the honey is collected from.
<h4>Where to buy</h4>
<li>Sabato: <a href="http://www.sabato.co.nz" title="www.sabato.co.nz" target="_blank">www.sabato.co.nz</a> </li>
<li> Kai Foods: <a href="http://www.kai.co.nz" title="www.kai.co.nz" target="_blank">www.kai.co.nz</a></li>
<li>Commonsense Organics: <a href="http://www.commonsenseorganics.co.nz" title="www.commonsenseorganics.co.nz" target="_blank">www.commonsenseorganics.co.nz</a></li>
<li>Rare Fare: <a href="http://www.rarefare.co.nz" title="www.rarefare.co.nz" target="_blank">www.rarefare.co.nz</a></li>
<li> Mercato: <a href="http://www.mercato.co.nz" title="www.mercato.co.nz" target="_blank">www.mercato.co.nz</a></li>
<li>Simon Johnson, Australia: <a href="http://www.simonjohnson.com.au" title="www.simonjohnson.com.au" target="_blank">www.simonjohnson.com.au</a></li>