Amina Harris: You’re Tasting Honey All Wrong

Jun 17, 2015
With her honey flavor wheel and honey library, this expert wants to change Americans' relationship to a controversial sweetener.

Amina Harris has a sweet job. Literally. As Director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at UC Davis, her day-to-day tasks involve curating a honey library and hosting honey tastings. But this “sensory scientist” would prefer we move away from the word “sweet.”

In fact, a primary focus of Harris’ recent work has been creating the Honey Flavor Wheel, a thorough tool for understanding the wide range of flavor characteristics present in honey, while expanding vocabulary we use to describe it. Now, instead of simply describing the 300-plus varietals of honey as  “sweet,” we can contemplate their sassafras, ash, baked bread, or cassis elements.

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Upcoming Events at the Center

  • November 10-11, 2017: Honey Sensory Experience: An Introduction
  • January 11, 2018: Mead Making Bootcamp
  • January 12-13, 2018: Beginner's Introduction to Making Mead
  • February 2-3, 2018: Intermediate Mead Making: The Styles and Nuances of Mead (TBD)
  • March 3, 2018: Bee Symposium - Lead speaker Tom Seeley
  • May 5, 2018: Annual California Honey Festival (TBD)
  • August 13-18, 2018: Advanced Mead Making (TBD)

 

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