Did you know that Turkey is famous for fragrant, flavorful honey (bal)? Well, neither did I, but many areas produce superb honey.

If you’re honey-shopping:

Çam Bali-Pine-forest honey, particularly from the Aegean region
Çiçek Bal-“Flower honey,” collected from hives near fields of flowers
Fer Özel Bali-Specially bright and clear honey
Ihlamur Bali-Linden flower honey
Karakovan Bali-Honey from a hive that has been “rested” for months in a pitch-dark place, unaffected by light
Kekik Bali-Thyme-flower honey
Kestane Bali-Chestnut blossom honey
Kirçiçegi Bali-Wildflower honey
Narenciye Bali-Citrus flower honey, usually from the Mediterranean coast
Ogul Bali-First honey drawn from a new hive
Petek Bali-Honey in the honeycomb
Sepet Kovan Bali-“Basket hive” honey
Yayla Bali-Mixed wildflowers from high mountain pastures

Now, the reason I did all this honey research is because of my attempts to waiters I wanted honey instead of sugar in my tea/coffee. Thus, while making sure I had the word correct, I researched (an old habit signifying nothing except I possess the remnants of more information than anyone could possibly need for a meaningful life) honey.

Another reason is that I have done something that I rarely do — I went to the same restaurant twice. Well, it was a fish place and the night before the fish was so good, I returned. I know now that Münin and Mustafa (headwaiter and waiter) will look after my best interests. Münin and I have had a lively discussion about honey and he brought a dish of something that looked like raspberry jam. I told him I didn’t want that I wanted “bali”. Stubborn ass said, “Try it.” My goodness! I have tasted Karacovan honey. Absolutely absolutely best sweetener in the world. And no, you can’t get it in the US. Travel more.

Oh, by the way, the restaurant’s fish dishes are superbly done. They serve the fish (fried, roasted, baked – whatever you want) with a salad and an onion. I don’t know about the onion.

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