Firmenich has deemed honey as the Flavor of the Year for 2015, citing the flavor’s versatility as consumers gravitate towards food and beverage products which are considered artisanal and crafted, or locally sourced.
Firmenich named Greek yogurt, cereal bars, ice cream, beef jerky, and alcohol, including vodka and whiskey, as just a few of the products where honey is now becoming a standard flavor option.
“Depending on the application, you can tone down the sweetness, or even tone it up,” said Patrick Salord, a senior flavorist at Firmenich. “It’s a flavor that has no limit in its potential, and people respond to that.”
Depending on the terroir and the pollens the bees have gathered, honey can reveal a wide range of notes, according to Salord. To capture the richness and complexity of honey flavor, Firmenich developed an extraction technology called Naturome, which preserves the subtle profile of natural products.
“Honey flavor can contain anything from light and delicate white flowers such as chamomile, lily of the valley or linden; to powerful and heady flowers such as jasmine or rose,” he said.
Honey, Salord added, can contain notes similar to dried flowers such as lavender, as well as animalic and leathery notes typical of acacia; flavorists can find woody, piney, and even smoky notes.