I love grocery shopping. I am the kind of shopper who will wander every aisle, compare different brands of products and my cart always fills up with shiny new things. When the opportunity came through my inbox to collaborate with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to test out unique food products from Virginia, I was so on board. Even more excited in our current physical distancing climate because I haven’t been able to physically browse a grocery store in weeks. Getting a box of delicious, fun, specialty products delivered to experiment and cook with was a real treat. The first product I dove into was AR’s Hot Southern Honey.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. All ideas and opinions expressed are wholly mine.
AR’s Hot Southern Honey produces pepper infused honeys with natural ingredients (honey, peppers, that’s it), no sugar additives or pepper extracts. The spicy honey comes in a 12oz bottle with flavours of mild, hot or wildflower. The Hot Spicy Peanut Butter comes in a 8.5oz jar and all products can be purchased at www.hotsouthernhoney.com
Their website also listed a special Bourbon Barrel Aged Spicy Honey, recommended drizzled on cheeses, and a Honey Peach Hot Sauce that would be delicious on oysters. Both sound like products I also really want to try!
What I liked
With AR’s Hot Southern Honey I liked how sweet and natural the honey tasted, without too much floral flavour, which is my preference for a honey to cook with. I also liked that they didn’t hold back on the spice, it was hot, but it was the sweetness that lingered. Execution wise, I also love the size of the bottle and that it’s squeezable. It makes handling the honey so much easier for measuring and cooking!
As someone who used to eat white bread with hot sauce, AR’s Spicy Honey Peanut Butter is next level. Freshly roasted Virginia peanuts combined with the spice of ghost peppers. This is a 99% smooth peanut butter with just enough peanut specks to add a nice bit of texture. It’s honestly addictive, spicy, sweet and peanuty. As someone with a high tolerance for heat, I found the spiciness perfect. Distinct with a punch, but not completely overwhelming the other flavours of the peanut butter. The peanut butter is natural and does separate, so be sure to stir before using and keep refrigerated once opened.
Tasting the Hot Southern Honey, my mind immediately went to Korean Fried Chicken. This honey would be perfect for the gochujang sauce. I can’t wait to serve it with a chunk of manchego on our next cheese platter or in the glaze for broiled salmon with a bit of dijon mustard. The honey would also be a delicious topping drizzled on vanilla ice cream of yogurt.
With AR’s Spicy Honey Peanut Butter, I instantly thought of noodles. For a quick dinner, spicy peanut noodles were always my got to, topped with tofu or kimchi, a fried egg, slice of spam or whatever was in my fridge. This recipe for Sichuan Peanut Noodles takes full advantage of AR’s Hot Southern Honey Spicy Peanut Butter complimenting the smokey flavour with a hint of numbing Sichuan peppercorns. We used a thick somen because it was what we had, but any kind of noodle would do, egg, rice or even shirataki.