Madras Carrot Blossom
Outside Madras, Oregon, there is a farm where carrots are grown for seed. Rather than harvest the root as a food crop, the carrot plant is allowed to bloom and then the blossoms are pollinated. Pollination results in seed development. The seeds are harvested and then sold to other farmers who then grow carrots as a food crop.
Carrot blossoms are a good source of nectar for honeybees, so the pollination process results in a good secondary crop of honey. Carrot blossom honey smells a little like fresh wood shavings; It's herbal, peppery, earthy, musky and a little sour.
The mead produced from this variety of honey is remarkably dry, perhaps because it doesn’t have any of the fruitiness we find in so many other honeys. It is very clean in aroma and flavor. All of the qualities of the source honey -- its spice, herb, and earthiness -- are present in the mead, though somewhat muted. There is a touch of the original sourness and a suggestion if incense, reminiscent of some Belgian Saison beers, and the woodiness has been toned down to something more like wheat, bringing to mind some of the more unusual historical German lagers and weissbiers. As such, this varietal pairs well with traditional savory foods from Northern Europe.