Bee Smart: 10 Things You Might Not Have Known About Honey

In honor of Earth Day this week, we’ll be doing the Bee Sweet Bake Sale at work to benefit honey bee research. With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to review some fascinating facts about our favorite bee-stuff: honey. Bet there’s at least a couple you didn’t know. (Unless you’re a beekeeper, in which case I really hope you do know all ten.) There are four honey grades (Grade A = Good; Grade B = Reasonably Good; Grade C = Fairly Good; Substandard = Poor), and although the USDA sets up the standards, the way a beekeeper grades honey is completely subjective.

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Boxing Day: The World’s Lunchboxes

You may be aware that today marks Boxing Day, a tradition that’s commonly celebrated in the UK and several of its former colonies. Dating back to the middle ages, the day after Christmas has traditionally been marked by the giving of gifts (boxed, of course) to employees and the poor. Boxing day also means post-Christmas sales (hooray!) and the start of a handful of sporting events. (Though, interestingly, boxing doesn’t seem to be among them…)

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Nothing says gratitude like a slaughtered lamb

Symbols of gratitude and danger living in perfect harmony. Image: NYPL digital library. My boss asked me to track down a traditional “thank you” food. He wanted to give that unknown thing as a gift of appreciation to our best customers. It seemed like a good idea. I’d just do some research, discover that flash-frozen steaks were a universally acknowledged symbol of goodwill and esteem, and out they’d go. Boss happy.

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Farm Challenge 2006!

Pop quiz, folks! How well do you know from whence your food comes? Well, if you’re like most modern city dwellers, you probably have vague notions about farms and ranches. But if you were exceedingly lucky (like me!) and grew up in a farm state and had the opportunity to attend the Minnesota State Fair this year, well… you might answer this entire quiz with absolute confidence. In that case, you’d likely be the proud owner of your choice of seed-growing kits: soybean, sugar beet or sweet corn.

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Of Pizzas & Pac-Men

I visited Fornino, the new wood-fired pizza joint in tha ‘hood today to multitask: catching up with a pal, downing some pie and rooting for the NY Marathon stragglers tripping down the road just ahead of the sweeper busses, since I figure I’d be back there with ‘em … that is, of course, only if a spell of insanity inexplicably swept over my feeble mind and inspired me to sign up for such misery.

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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