I am lucky enough to have great friends in this trade courtesy of my parents' upbringing in the Greenwood, Florida area (20 miles south of Dothan, AL). However, on the way to the beach, we would always stop and visit the Laniers in Wewahitchka...so I know a thing or two about this stuff and sing its praises whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself.
The Lanier family has been harvesting tupelo honey from hives in the Apalachicola River swamps since 1898. The late Mr. L.L. Lanier Jr and his wife Martha were good friends of our family (my maiden name is Willis, in case I have any relatives reading this needing a shout out). My cousins operate a nearly 150-year-old general store in Greenwood (Pender's Store), and the shelves have always been stocked with the handiwork of the Laniers.
From the blossoms of the tupelo gum tree, nyssa aquatica.
The tupelo gum tree grows in swampy areas in the south such as Florida, Louisiana, Georgia and Virginia, as well as along the Mississippi River, but tupelo honey is produced commercially in areas along the Choctawhatchee, Apalachicola and Ochlockonee rivers.
Tupelo honey made from the white tupelo gum tree, nyssa ogeche, is top quality table honey and is valued for its uniquely delicious flavor and its inability to granulate.The process:
Bees are placed on elevated platforms along the river’s edge, and they fan out through the surrounding Tupelo trees in the swamps during April and May. This river valley is the only place in the world where Tupelo Honey is produced commercially.
"Real Tupelo honey is a light golden amber color with a greenish cast. The flavor is delicious, delicate and distinctive; a choice table grade honey. Good white tupelo, unmixed with other honeys, will not granulate, and due to this high fructose low glucose ratio some diabetic patients have been permitted by their physicians to eat Tupelo honey. Average analysis: fructose 44.03% glucose 29.98%." -- Glynnis
ALL TUPELO HONEY IS NOT THE SAME.
|Glycemic Index 54.1 +/- 8.2||1 tbsp = 21 grams|
|3.59 grams water||17.30 grams carbohydrate|
|6.45 grams glucose||.19 grams sucrose|
|9.03 grams fructose||.30 grams maltose|
|.65 grams galactose||Calories 60|
The Honey Is Famous on Film
In the spring of 1996, award-winning director Victor Nunez purchased a jar of Tupelo honey from the Lanier's stand in downtown Wewahitchka. He then drove to their house, explained that he was planning to make a movie about a beekeeper, and asked Ben and Glynnis to help. Before he knew it, Ben was teaching actor Peter Fonda how to handle bees, and Glynnis, L.L. and Martha were cast as extras.
L.L. Lanier & Son's Tupelo Honey
P.O. Box 706 - Wewahitchka, FL 32465
Phone or Fax: (850) 639-2371