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More of Your Savory Foods Could Do With a Honey Finish

When it comes to sweeteners, I like sugar (unless we are talking soda, in which case I like aspartame in Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper only). Something about growing up in the “health” food-obsessed 90s put me off alternative sweeteners, especially honey, but only in sweet applications. I do not like it in baked goods or in coffee or tea, but I love to drizzle it all over savory things. In fact, one of my favorite teenage snacks was a slice of sharp cheddar with a healthy drizzle of honey, straight from the bear. (I was not a popular teen.) Honey is sweet, yes, but it’s so much more. Where sucrose offers a pure sort of sweetness, without any other flavor, honey can taste floral, fruity, smoky, or even spicy, depending on where it is sourced from. Perhaps that is why I don’t like it in drinks and pastries—it’s too competitive. But the best finishers are competitive in nature. Acidic finishers, like lemon juice or vinegar, pull focus from fat; fresh herbs break up monotony supplying a verdant note on cooked meats, mayo-heavy salads, or spicy salsas; and sweet touches like fruity sauces, reductions and, yes, honey, provide a nice, balancing counter note to salty, spicy, and funky dishes. Advertisement Honey says, “Oh, you thought this pepperoni pizza was interesting? You thought salty meat and cheese were all you needed? What if you were eating this pizza in a meadow of flowers? Wha t if the pepperoni had a candied quality? Wouldn’t that be fun?” If you’ve ever tried honey on pepperoni pizza (especially a spicy one), you know that it is, in fact, fun. It’s also fun on a cheese plate, or drizzled on spinach (or any sautéed green), or potatoes (especially tater tots), or grilled or stewed meats. (Chicken wings and tenders are common, but have you tried a little honey on a steak?) G/O Media may get a commission Extra 25% off JACHS NY Labor Day Week Sale! Up to 90% Off Extra extra sales The entire Jachs NY site is on sale—but you can cash in on an extra 25% off pants and shorts. That means shorts are $19 and pants are $29. Get 25% Off with Promo Code at Jachs NY Use the promo code LDW25 Advertisement If you fancy yourself an agent of chaos, you should try this honeyed pickle snack, which somehow manages to be confusing and utterly delicious all at once. If you want to make your finishing honey even more exciting, you can ferment some garlic or cranberries in there, or add a little heat to make hot honey, a very trendy condiment. If you’re not sure what to finish with honey, start with the super salty, spicy, or funky. Garlic always plays well with the sweet stuff, so garlic mashed potatoes, garlicky green beans, or garlic chicken thighs are a great launching pad. But try it on a slice of sharp cheddar, at least once. I think you will like it. Advertisement

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