Southern California wonders how bees are involved? How do they actually make plant-based honey?
Traditionally bees have a massive role in producing honey. So, removing their support seems unrealistic, or does it? And sure, scientists can try to explain it. But can someone explain it in simple terms, in a way that a curious foodie could understand it?
Let’s find out in an exclusive interview with Mellody Food’s Darko Mandich.
Darko Mandich is a food entrepreneur in San Francisco. After spending almost a decade in the European honey industry as a business executive, Darko committed to reimagining the honey industry to become sustainable. Darko immigrated from Europe to California to launch Mellody, the world’s first plant-based honey brand. Darko is an advocate of saving the bees and wild pollinators.
Recently, I had a chance to talk with Darko.
From a science point of view, how are you creating plant-based honey products?
The process has to start with philosophy. When people think about science, engineering and process, what comes to their mind is what’s the science? What’s the engineering behind that? What’s the process of making something?
But I would argue that every process, every science starts with a philosophy in the first place. So for us, our philosophy was there’s honey made by the bees in the market, the real ones, that product quality-wise is amazing, but has negative baggage in terms of how it’s made. Next to that, there’s fake honey. There’s basically adulterated honey that’s made by people taking fraudulent activities and blending a little bit of real honey and a lot of rice syrup.
That’s done outside of the US by people trying not to get caught. The third group are vegan honey alternatives, made out of tapioca, dates, maple, pure sugar. These products are just not honey. Trying to impersonate honey, but it’s not honey. It’s a legit product. It’s in the market. People can buy it.
What was missing is the fourth group, which is the category that we pioneered.
Honey, the product that has the composition of real honey but that doesn’t have any rice syrups, nothing that doesn’t belong to honey. But, it’s not made by the bees and therefore by default is vegan and plant-based. So that was the category that we started, and we didn’t start it only for vegans. Obviously vegans are our early adopters. They love what we’re doing. I’m vegan myself. But I want this to be an inclusive company and brand, and therefore we launched this for everybody. For everybody who likes delicious and nutritious foods. By choosing this you’re basically voting for those little creatures to survive on this planet.
You asked me about the process.
You wanna make honey only from something that in nature that touches bees and honey, it’s very strict. Our team studied a lot of different honeys, the different anatomy of the bees, the science behind honey production. Bees land on a flower, they suck up nectar. And there’s a couple of things in a bee’s anatomy. We came up with this proprietary process where we interact with the plants, we take different parts of the plants.
What’s really exciting and cool is we can take the whole plant, break it into different ingredients, and take parts of the plant that maybe bees don’t have access to, like its roots. So we take different ingredients from different plants. We have more than 30 different plants in our product that we launched and we created this process that is basically mixing all those ingredients in a food facility in a regular culinary approach, and basically create a product that looks, tastes, and behaves like honey.
Is your honey currently available at Eleven Madison Home?
This is the product from a direct to consumer collaboration. We just launched with three Michelin star, Eleven Madison Park in New York City.
Yeah, the honey is currently available. The Specialty Tea and Honey Box launched for the Mother’s Day collection and Earth Month.
It’s a specially curated box of artisanal teas coming from different parts of the world with honey and also amazing, shortbread cookies. All plant-based, also made with our honey. That’s available right now
Sometime very soon a standalone jar [of honey] will also be available to Eleven Madison Home.
Tell us again what’s available, how to find it; and how to follow you and support you.
Yeah, follow us on Instagram and TikTok at MellodyFoods
In terms of purchasing, head to ElevenMadisonHome.com and you can purchase it there.
Saving the bees is learning more about them. Learning more about pollinators and you can do that on our social media.
And finally, if you’re equally passionate about bees and plants as we are, ask your favorite restaurant to reach out to us to offer Mellody in your favorite restaurant. It can be a vegan restaurant on non-vegan.
We are gonna work with all the restaurants that reach out to us where people ask to see our product offered, either on the menu, either within a meal, or just if you order a cup of tea and you want a side of Mellody.
About the AuthorJoe Wehinger (nicknamed Joe Winger) has written for over 20 years about the business of lifestyle and entertainment. Joe is an entertainment producer, media entrepreneur, public speaker, and C-level consultant who owns businesses in entertainment, lifestyle, tourism and publishing. He is an award-winning filmmaker, published author, member of the Directors Guild of America, International Food Travel Wine Authors Association, WSET Level 2 Wine student, WSET Level 2 Cocktail student, member of the LA Wine Writers. Email to: Joe@FlavRReport.com
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Bring Great Flavors to your Los Angeles Thanksgiving with Wine Ideas from Winemaker Brian Cheeseborough.
Thanksgiving is coming up fast, and you just have a few days left, do not panic just yet.
Most people are not “hosting” a Thanksgiving; instead, they are guests. Whether its family, friends, or you are the plus one, it is always better to make a good impression – and what better way than with an exceptional wine or two?
Wine can be inexpensive; our winemaker suggested a few wines between $15-$45.
Brian Cheesborough has more than 20 vintages of wine experience and made 90+ point wines in 6 different regions worldwide (California, France, New Zealand, Argentina, and more). He is an expert at pairing flavors and (more importantly) how to fix sour or off flavors – think dry turkey. (yikes!)
Take it away, Brian!
Thanks for having me. I’m excited to share these ideas because there are two goals: if the food is incredible, we want a wine that matches it and makes it even better (think like a dancing partner), and secondly, if the food is not great, we want a way to elevate the experience and fix the mistake.
Wine can do that! Most of these wines are from vineyards I have worked with or fellow Fresno State alums, some of whom I sat in a lecture with about all things wine. Can’t find the exact bottle? There are numerous producers for these wines under $50 and some below $20 – follow the varietals.
So, let us get started.
Alexander Valley Vineyards – Gewürz, 2021 Mendocino County
This Gewürz can solve many problems. It is a great wine to start the night; It’s also great when you’re eating something dry or bland. Yes, it is on the sweeter side. The aromatics are floral, with enticing notes of apple, grapefruit, and citrus; the mouth is silky and rich. This will pair well with any course. I like it with turkey best!
Buy it here: AVV 2021 Gewürz – Organically Grown
Willamette Valley Vineyards 2021 Estate Chardonnay
Another great option to start the party. The nose is a fresh bouquet of apricot, lemon, lime, and honey. The mouth is rich and supple with flavors of golden apple, caramel, and vanilla, with a nice round, refreshing finish. You can easily pair this with rich seafood dishes like shrimp alfredo and crab-stuffed lobster tail. Also, creamy potatoes or spiced pumpkins. (If you end up with pumpkin or squash on your plate and try a glass of this, you will thank me later.)
Buy it here: Willamette Valley Vineyards – Estate Chardonnay
Pine Ridge Vineyards 2021 Chenin Blanc + Viognier White Blend
One more light suggestion to start off your Los Angeles Thanksgiving!
This is crisp, bright, and full of life. The nose is a bouquet of honeysuckle, and orange blossoms, with a twist of ginger spice. The mouth is full-bodied with refreshing acidity. Flavors of tangerine, lime, and green apple. It’ll pair great with a light salad, goat cheese, and olives.
Now, let us go to the Reds!
Abacela Tempranillo Fiesta 2019
It has a gorgeous fruit-driven nose with aromas of red fruit, cherry, and plum. The mouth is sleek and silky, medium body with flavors of black currant and blueberry, with lush and velvety tannins. It would pair well with turkey, venison with traditional gravy, or cranberry.
Buy it here: Abacela Tempranillo Fiesta
Dutton-Goldfield’s 2020 Mendocino Hills Pinot Noir
The nose starts telling you this is something extra special; classic rich blackberry, pomegranate, and a touch of vanilla to round out the aromas. The mouth is super juicy and decadent, full of bright red cherry and cola with a baking spice finish. You want this with your main entree – turkey, ham, and stuffing. The people at your party drinking this will be glancing at each other, smiling between bites – they will know why!
Buy it here: Mendocino Hills Pinot Noir
Porter Creek, Estate Pinot Noir, Russian River – 2019
On the nose, red fruit notes with cherry and plum. On the mouth, medium body with moderate oak, black currant, and blueberry, with delicate tannins. This pairs well with lean meat.
Buy it here: Porter Creek, Estate Pinot Noir, Russian River
The critical thing to remember is that regardless of your budget, you can find a great flavor to pair with what you are eating. Also, the wine can “save” the day, just in case it ends up a little (or a lot) dry or bland. You are not the chef du jour for your Los Angeles Thanksgiving, but you can still contribute to the sharing.
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By Contributor — 9 months ago
This Fathers Day, Le Portteus Wine Decanter, pours flavor and class for your foodie, wine-drinking Dad (and the whole family).
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“Le Portteus Red Wine Decanter is the perfect gift for the wine-loving dad who will appreciate the enhanced wine-drinking experience and its chic design.”
Browse the Le Portteus Red Wine Decanter here and find out more for this perfect Father’s Day gift.
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This wine decanter is an essential edition to your wine accessories.
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The lead-free crystal wine decanter is handcrafted with highly durable crystal, and guaranteed to withstand the test of time!
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NEW YEAR’S DAY:
Celebrate New Year’s Day at Arth Bar + Kitchen by enjoying a modern Indian dinner with family and friends featuring Small Plates, Tandoor Starters, Entrées, Handcrafted Tandoor Breads, Accompaniments, Rice, and Desserts.
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