Tuesday, October 07, 2008

All-Russian Honey Festival 2008

So we did make our way to the 19th All-Russian Honey Festival in Tsaritsino Park (Greenline metro: Tsaritsino, exit station follow honey-bee sign) last Saturday. The weather was splendid, a gorgeous 20 degrees, when Brian and I (Eddie stayed home with Sean) made our 1-hour metro journey to the festival. Brian is a manuka honey lover and he was game to sample the different types of honey that all of Russia had to offer. Some 250 exhibitors from over 60 of Russia's regions were at the festival offering their honey for sampling and sale.

From The Moscow News: The Russian orthodox faith knows the honey bee as ‘god's toiler,' good bee keepers were generally regarded as exemplary Christians and their yield of sweet goodness was considered the reward of religious diligence. Famous beekeepers have included Edmond Hilary, Sherlock Holmes and Mayor Lushkov, and increasing numbers of Russians are joining their illustrious company.

We met up with Michelle there. I think we probably covered only a fifth of the grounds, and were already too 'jelak' by then. There were so many people lugging back many large tubs of honey. See the whitish honey Brian's sampling; we went mostly for those, they were delicious.

Some had grainier texture, some were very creamy. And omigosh, some tasted like urine *retch*puke*, mostly the darker coloured ones. Michelle thinks they taste like cowdung. Don't ask me how she knows what cowdung tastes like. And don't ask me how I know what urine tastes like! After a few unintentional sampling of urine-tasting-honey, I stopped being adventurous.

That white lump on the bottom right picture below, yes that's honey. They're all honey, yep, the top right picture isn't showing glasses of vanilla milk-shake.

Top left: Some kind of honey-comb snack that we can find in Singapore too. Michelle bought a few packets but Brian and I didn't like this.
Top right: Michelle and I went huh is this honey? Brian said he thinks it's beeswax.
Bottom left: Took a picture of this gross looking blackish stuff. We have no idea what it is.
Bottom right: These cheese-like blocks are honey too. All you need to do is scoop what you need and stir them in a container, and they turn into liquid like in the bowl. I bought two blocks cos this honey was so delicious, tasted all buttery and smooth.

My haul was the two blocks of honey and two tubs of different white honey (Brian's choice). These are gonna last us for a heckuva long time, cos Brian's the only one who really takes honey in our house.

Well honey, that's all the report I have from the honey festival. While we made our hour-long journey back, I asked Brian if it had been worth the long trip, he turned to me, smiled and said, "No". &*^%#@!!


Alcovelet said...

All this honey looks amazing!! I'm a big honey fan, ummmmmm. But those that taste like retch? EEuu. Did you try the blocks of honey? How did they get that way? Was it good?

Lilian said...

No, didn't taste like retch,...I wrote retch cos that's what I felt when I tasted the urine-smelling ones. eeeeyeeewww. It was so hard trying to get the taste out of my throat.

You know, I liked the block honey so much when I sampled it that we had to call a Russian friend to ask the seller how to get it into liquid form! They only sold it in block form. Yes, it's really yummy. I like this one the best.

Hsien Lei said...

LOL @Brian yanking mummy's chain

re: beeswax sculpture, it's supposed to be a skill beekeepers have. They compete on it. (Saw a show about it in London.)

Lilian said...

Next time the boys should yank their father's chain for a change.

When Eddie was cheerfully seeing us off at the door, I said to him, "You should be thankful I didn't even suggest that you come along, not a word from me!" He laughed, "Do you think I would go even if you did?" #$%^&*

Well, for not joining us, he ended up cooking instant noodles for himself and Sean while Brian and I had a superb lunch at our favourite steakhouse. My medium-rare filet mignon was cooked to perfection, a nice reward for my selflessness in making that long journey to honeyland.

monlim said...

looks like butter!! amazing... btw, today's ST got full feature on why Moscow is a fantastic place to visit.

Lilian said...

Make Moscow your next holiday destinationlah; your kids like snow so much, guarantee you snow (and slush) in December :) Combine Moscow with St Petersburg, which everyone tells me is much prettier.

Plug: Singapore Airlines have daily flights from Singapore to Moscow, 4 of which are direct, and 3 via Dubai. I recommend the direct flights, seats are extra comfy on these planes.

monlim said...

Why, you offering us free accommodation? *hint hint*

Lilian said...

Sure thing not a problem haha. I'll be glad to have company in the land of freezing butts.

bACk in GERMANY said...

Lilian, you are very funny... how did you know how urine tasted??? And your friend on cow dung? LOL!

The blocks look like butter. Can you spread it on bread?

Thanks for the tour in Honeyland. Eye opener.... never seen honey in so many different colours and forms.

Lilian said...

Looks like butter? I thought like cheese. In the photo, the block looks small but each is about 4" by 6" by 2.5", that's the size of a few blocks of butter.

Yes, Brian spread that on bread for supper last night and breakfast today. Couldn't trick Sean into tasting it even though Brian told him it was orange liquid.

monlim said...

Wrote this comment earlier, maybe it didn't register. was saying that i would LOVE to visit Moscow but we already spent our travel budget going to Tokyo in June and next year is L-A's PSLE year so we're all grounded until year end :(

Lilian said...

PSLE is next year, so you should spend next year's travel budget this December...just kidding. I'll try to post more Moscow pictures so it'll feel like you've actually visited, and it's all FREE. :)

monlim said...

Haha! Ok, gimme the pics and I'll use my imagination. Don't you think it's unfair that when one child has PSLE, the whole family's grounded? I've threatened to take just Andre away in June next year. Daddy can look after Lesley-Anne...

Lilian said...

Yes yes, you should do that. Market it as spending one-on-one quality time, you with Andre and Kenneth with L-A!

Have you thought about where you'd go if it's just you and Andre?