A delicious-looking plate of sliced duck accompanied by green salad and a honey mustard dressing on the side.

5 Ways To Elevate Your Restaurant Dishes With Honey

Consider the sweet delights of honey if you’re looking for a way to add some zing to your restaurant’s dishes. After thousands of years, honey remains a favorite treat of foodies and everyday eaters, and it continues to surprise us with its versatility. While there will always be a place for it with tea, toast, and pancakes, don’t hold back on honey when it comes to appetizers, entrees, desserts, and other dishes. Honey can enhance some flavors, complement others, and elevate blander dishes to greater heights of ecstasy. The multiple rich golden browns of the world’s assorted honey add a beautiful visual element to many dishes. Here are five ways to elevate your restaurant dishes with honey. Don’t be afraid to experiment! You may find the next best way to use honey as an ingredient.

Marinades and Glazes

You rarely go wrong when you add honey to a marinade or glaze. Adding sweetness while bringing out the savoriness or other tastes of meats, cheeses, and more, honey is an excellent partner to other spices, seasonings, and oils. Honey also caramelizes well under heat, creating a sticky and savory glaze that brings out the colors and flavors of vegetables, meats, seafood, and more. Honey-glazed ham is a classic dish, of course, but consider slathering honey—along with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic—onto a set of salmon filets or a spatchcocked whole chicken. The honey helps the glaze remain on the dish, adhering perfectly to a rich and tasty crust. It also tenderizes the meat and helps make it juicier. Consider adding honey for a glossy, flavorful, and beautiful sheen!

A small block of cottage cheese on a black plate with golden honey slowly dripping on it and blueberries on the side.

Salad Dressings and Vinaigrettes

Get away from bottled dressing and create your own flavorful salad dressing by combining honey, vinegar, and more. Greens are good, but their flavor stands out even more when you add honey to the mix. Honey and Dijon mustard are an unbeatable tag team for a classic vinaigrette. Mix the honey and mustard, then add extra sharpness and depth with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Spinach, romaine, mixed greens, and other leafy greens, combined with nuts and dried fruit, make a simple starting dish a memorable experience. It’s all about balancing sweet, sour, bitter, and savory. Vinegar bites while honey soothes and sweetens. And because there’s more than one type of honey, you can experiment and create a personalized dressing or vinaigrette blend.

Better Beverages

Don’t neglect the drinks! Honey can add depth and dimension to simple refreshments. Cocktails and soft drinks will benefit from a honey infusion, bringing diversity to regular ho-hum beverages. For example, add some wow to your lemonade with an infusion of honey and lavender. The gently scented flower and flower-based condiment combine to sweeten and aromatize the drink, making it refreshing for the tongue and nose. Provide honey at the table so patrons can sweeten their tea and other beverages. Honey dissolves swiftly into hot and cold beverages, providing a healthier and less grainy alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. Being a botanically based substance, honey pairs well with herbs and fruits, adding elegance to any tea party.

Delicious Desserts

You knew this one was coming! Honey sweetens plenty of baked goods, but don’t let its pastry-heavy past stop it from turning up in your other desserts. Drizzling and dipping are just two methods of honey delivery. Layers of honey are what make baklava and similar baked products truly sing. Cheesecakes, cobblers, tarts, cookies, and cakes can also do with a dab or even a deluge of honey. Honey brings its own sweetness and flavor, of course, but can add to the decadent symphony of tastes many desserts already offer. Honey also keeps many baked goods soft and moist.

Breakfast and Brunch

Honey often appears on the breakfast and brunch table. Bring honey’s rich, golden, sweet, and flavorful taste to many of your menu items if you serve food from these two categories. Keep things healthy with honey-drizzled yogurt topped with fresh fruit. This morning menu option is an eye-opening and body-benefiting combination that won’t put your patrons to sleep. Adding a sprinkle of granola can bring texture, crunch, and nutrients that might otherwise be absent. A properly prepared bowl of honey, yogurt, fruits, and nuts can be a satisfying meal in and of itself! And leave a selection of assorted honey in charming containers on the table so customers can adorn their dishes with their favorite flavors. Include descriptions of each honey, such as where they are from and their flavor profiles, and suggest the best dishes to complement them so your patrons know what to expect.

A mug full of milk accompanied by a honey dipper dripping with golden honey and a half-eaten cookie.

Next Steps

Those are just five ways to elevate your restaurant dishes with honey. Bringing honey to the menu will help it stay fresh and add excitement and intrigue to your diners’ experience. It might also be the difference that puts you ahead of the competition. Speak with your chef, or your team if you are the chef, about whether honey is the “secret ingredient” your restaurant needs. Here are a few other suggestions and honey types that may spark new ideas and innovations if you’re ready to add honey to your dishes:

  • Clover Honey—Light in color, deliciously sweet, and mild in flavor, clover honey is what people usually think of when they think of honey. It’s great for baking, dressings, and sauces and never overpowers the other flavors in the dish.
  • Manuka Honey—This honey originates in New Zealand and comes from bees that harvest the flowers of the manuka tree. Robust and earthy, it is good for marinades and beverages and has antibacterial properties.
  • Acacia Honey—Pale, clear, and light in flavor, acacia honey is good for dressings, charcuterie plates, and soft cheeses.
  • Buckwheat Honey—Spicy and akin to molasses, buckwheat honey is suitable for barbecue sauce and adding moisture and flavor to bread and muffins.
  • Orange Blossom Honey—As you can imagine, orange blossom honey has a citrusy tang that will wake up your taste buds. It is fantastic for glazes and adding zest to yogurt and granola combos.

Those are just a handful of the kinds of honey out there. Interested in purchasing wholesale raw honey for your restaurant? Contact us for a consultation on the best choice for your customers and dishes. We look forward to hearing from you!

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