Borage, also called starflower, is a Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean herb that’s been cultivated in the UK for several hundred years. It’s grown primarily for the oil in its seeds and to support organic farming practices but almost every part of the plant has both culinary and medicinal uses. A dose of borage has long been believed to boost good humour and courage; in the Middle Ages crusaders took it to give them bravery in battle, while young women sometimes slipped it into the drinks of their lovers to give them the pluck to propose!
These days, if you’re lucky enough to stumble across a field of borage, you’ll be struck first of all by the beauty of its brilliant blue flowers. Blooming from June until September, the starflowers produce copious amounts of pollen and nectar and, from a honeybee’s point of view, they’re the gift that keeps on giving as, once drained by a thirsty bee, these flowers replenish their nectar supplies so quickly.
Like all our honeys, we protect the distinct and complex flavour of our borage honey - and its widely reported antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties - by doing as little as possible to it. It is naturally light, clear and runny with minimal filtration and only the gentlest of heating. Borage honey tastes exquisite. It is sweet, sharp and delicate, with notes of lemon and orange.
Try it… in marinades and dressings. Borage honey is also often used as a sweetener for tea and coffee or to replace the sugar in baking recipes. You can also chill borage honey so that it hardens to the consistency of a chewy toffee (a big hit with children) and it goes beautifully with porridge (not just because of the pleasing rhyme).