What do I do with honeycomb?
Good question. And one we’ve grappled with too. Honeycomb is no longer something most Americans are familiar with eating.
Whether you have a piece of honeycomb on its own or a chunk embedded in your jar of honey (called chunk honey), the options are the same.
First, you don’t have to remove the honey. Honeycomb is great as is. The comb, made up of beeswax, is edible. You can spread it on an English muffin or biscuit straight out the toaster; the heat will melt the wax and honey together in a delicious way. Use it in oatmeal rather than sugar. Or next time you are putting out cheese and crackers for guests, wow them by serving a chunk of honeycomb alongside it. A cracker, a slice of strong cheese, and a little hunk of honeycomb make for a delicious combination.
You can also just break off chunks and eat them like candy. If you do this, the wax will be more noticeable, so if you don’t want to swallow it, just chew until it’s no longer sweet and then spit out the wax.
Another idea is to make simple syrup. Simply syrup is usually 1 part water to 1-2 parts honey. To make it, bring water to boil in a large saucepan. Turn off the heat, add the honeycomb, and stir. The wax will melt and release the honey, and then as it cools, the wax will re-solidify and float to the surface. At this point, you can either spoon the wax off or strain it through cheesecloth. Store it in the refrigerator for homemade sodas, iced coffee, or cocktails.
If you really want liquid honey, you can crush and strain the comb. If it’s a small amount, you can use cheese cloth. If it’s more, you want a strainer bag – such as what is used for home brewing beer or paint. Put the honeycomb in the bag and suspend it over a container to collect the honey. You will need to crush the comb with your hands to release the honey from the capped cells. Doing this in a warm room is ideal as honey flows through the mesh more easily when it is warm. Just don’t heat it as you don’t want the wax to melt.