Buying the Right Honey: What You Need to Know

Honey really is a classic sweet—natural, healthy and flavorful. Unfortunately, it can also be adulterated or otherwise altered with frightening regularity in the production of cheap mass market honey.

Dangerous Additives

Honey is cultivated by bees throughout the world, but efforts to harvest this honey vary greatly in care and quality. China is so notorious for its honey—which is often contaminated with additives that include dangerous antibiotics—that the United States has leveled tariffs against Chinese honey imports to prevent their entrance into US markets. Now, the Chinese honey is moved through secondary countries such as South Korea or India and exported to the US with forged customs forms to conceal the honey’s point of origin.

Removing the Fingerprints

Lab testing can identify the origin of honey via trace pollen within the honey, but most mass produced honey is pasteurized and filtered to the point that no pollen remains, a practice ostensibly performed to improve the longevity and clarity of honey. This treatment also removes many of the nutrients and beneficial properties.

How can you ensure the quality of your honey?

After trying several supposed tests for the purity of honey, we at Manhattan Fruitier were forced to concede that the only way to be sure of a honey is to lab test it or to purchase it from a trusted source.

3 Tips for Buying Honey

raw honey vs unpure honey

Label at left lists corn syrup as the primary ingredient in this adulterated honey from India. Label at right designates this untreated honey as raw and sourced from New York.

Inspect the Label

The ingredients list should display any additives, such as corn syrup or water.

Buy Raw Honey

Raw honey is treated minimally if at all. It has a thicker, waxier texture at room temperature than its syrupy supermarket brethren, and contains the nutrients and pollen that make honey so good for you.

Know the Source of your Honey

Be sure to find out where your honey is produced. For Manhattan Fruitier gifts we offer fantastic raw honey from Catskill Provisions, which is sourced from hives in Sullivan and Delaware Counties in upstate New York. It is available in our Kosher Honey Hamper and Bee’s Knees or as an add-on to any gift.

Father’s Day 2014 Gift Guide

Father’s Day is right around the corner, and here at Manhattan Fruitier we are featuring delicious gifts of the salty and savory variety sure to impress. For those in need of guidance, we helpfully offer the following recommendations for several types of fathers.

FOR THE DAD AT LEISURE

This is the dad who holds his weekends sacred as time to relax, watch sports, grill meats and rejuvenate for the coming week. The perfect companion for the game or the grill, the Barstool Snacker features all the savory snacks your father could desire.

barstool snacker - father's day

 “The Barstool Snacker is the grown up version of our father/son bonding trips to the mall, where we would feast on pretzels & mustard and other snacks.” 

 – David, Customer Service Manager

FOR THE FATHER ON THE GO

 If your father spends his weekend on the move, don’t fret. We have a gift designed for travel. The Walkabout offers a hearty selection of treats in one of our distinctive net bags. It’s a gift that will keep your father energized throughout the day, whether at work or at play.

Walkabout - father's day gift

FOR THE FATHER WHO TENDS BAR

The Shake and Partake is a gift designed for creating and sharing, perfectly suited for the aspiring or practiced mixologist. Your father can share his spectacular drinks and snacks with family and friends alike.

shake and partake - father's day gifts

 “The inspiration behind Shake & Partake is the family evening get-togethers in Pennsylvania that would take place after work while sitting on the front porch eating hors d’oeuvres and sipping cocktails.”

 – Drew, Creative Director

FOR THE FATHER WITH A TASTE FOR THE FINER THINGS

 The Prosciutto and Parmigiano Basket brings a touch of Italy straight to your father’s doorstep. What gift could be more fitting for the world’s best dad than the king of cured meats?

Prosciutto-hamper - father's day gift

 FOR THE PISCATORIALIST

While it might be true that teaching a man to fish is a great gift, why not take the work out of it for Dad this holiday with our smoked salmon basket, which features fantastic Scottish smoked salmon, organic wheat crackers, capers and lemons to ensure each bite is sufficiently sumptuous.

Smoked-Salmon-and-Gravlax--fathers day gift basket

“My dad, Julius, owned a Jewish delicatessen, Gold’s Delicatessen, in Westport, CT.  It was always important that our smoked salmon gift featured salmon that met his high standards. We chose a Scottish smoked salmon, which he loved.” 

– Jehv, Owner

FOR THE FATHER WHO LOVES CHEESE

Looking to inspire paternal pride in your father? Try our farmhouse cheese basket, a gift that is bursting with quality cheeses. With three different sizes, this is a basket guaranteed to wow your dad—though don’t expect him to say much through the mouthfuls of cheese.

Farmhouse-Cheese-Three-Delu-father's day

This is just a sampling of the many gifts we offer—be sure to check out our Father’s Day section for the full collection.

 

PROTECT AGAINST OLIVE OIL FRAUD

The popularity of olive oil in the USA has risen dramatically over the last decade. Unfortunately, the growing demand has resulted in increasingly deceptive marketing and labeling of olive oil products, an attempt to willfully mislead customers who will often pay premium prices for inferior products sold as extra virgin olive oil. Buyer beware, because many—if not most—of these oils are not what they claim.

A few facts about extra virgin olive oil fraud:

  •  Many horror stories describe elaborate bait-and-switch scenarios involving soybean oil or common vegetable oil masquerading as olive oil, but such incidents are rare.
  • The fraud you are more likely to encounter in your grocery aisle involves the blending of high and low quality olives for sale as extra virgin olive oil. This common trick involves refining low quality olive oil through heating to remove odor and impurity, and mixing the result with extra virgin olive oil to impart the flavor of better olive oil.
  • Labels may prominently display that the oil is “packed in Italy.” Information on the origin of the olives, however, will be hidden in small text or omitted entirely. This is likely because the olive oil has been imported from another country and only bottled in Italy.

Genuine extra virgin olive oil is collected from the first pressing of ripe olives for the freshest possible oil.

To ensure your olive oil is the real deal, follow these tips:

  • Always check the ingredients. If refined olive oil is listed, the product is not authentic extra virgin olive oil.
  • A quality olive oil will proudly detail its origin—the location of the mill where the olives were pressed and the grove from which they were harvested.
  • Look for a harvest date on the bottle. Olive oil degrades over time, and fresher oil will be better, more flavorful oil.
  • Look for the DOP seal, designating a Denominazione di Origine Protetta (Protected Domain of Origin). This certifies that the olives were grown, harvested and pressed in the same region.

 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For our part, Manhattan Fruitier sources our extra virgin olive oil from Villa Cappelli. Their oil is a DOP certified product of the Appia Traiana region of southern Italy, unrefined, unfiltered and brimming with flavor. It’s the real deal.

 mediterranean hamper with extra virgin olive oil Mediterranean Diet hamper featuring Villa Cappelli’s authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

To learn more about extra virgin olive oil, its health benefits, and how to pick a quality bottle, we recommend Tom Mueller’s website Truth in Olive Oil. A presto!

6 Distinctive Gifts for Mothers of Every Kind

This Mother’s Day, surprise and impress with a gift that is beautiful, elegant and exceptional—just like Mom. Manhattan Fruitier offers Mother’s Day gifts suitable for all different types of mothers.

For the Early Riser

Early Bird Breakfast

This is the mother who rises with the sun to enjoy a healthy breakfast in the dawn of the new day. While we cannot promise a beautiful sunrise, we can surely supply the breakfast with our appropriately-titled Early Bird Breakfast Basket, so named for the included granola from Early Bird Foods of Brooklyn, NY. Also in this gift: walnut bread, peach preserves, Clementine juice and a rose with vase. This is a breakfast to cherish for the mother you cherish. Continue reading

Let’s Hear it for the Admins

This week is designated Administrative Professionals Week and Wednesday is Administrative Professionals Day. This is a time to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of administrative staff—the workers who grease the wheels of a business to ensure it runs smoothly, answering calls, writing correspondence, conveying messages and otherwise managing basic office functions.

Some facts about Administrative Professionals Week and Day:

Continue reading