Honey centre in New Zealand

Honey centre in New Zealand

I have recently been in hospital and coming through the recovery highlighted to me the role that food plays in not only our sustenance but also cultural traditions.

After almost 24 hours of nil by mouth, and having missed the Sodexo lady on her dinner rounds, I was faced with the option of tea and toast as my first meal. It fascinates me how reassuring a piece of toast can be. Where does that come from? It always seems to be the best go-to when you have been feeling sick and that evening I had one brown piece with a pot of honey.

Honey seems to be natures answer to any illness. It just is. And some of the raw ones have a flavour and strength that is restorative from the moment it hits the back of your throat. Those clever bees are able to bring the best of their environments into this nectar and when that is a rainforest or a rare flower the flavour and benefits collide into something magical. We all know about Manuka honey, and nowadays there are many more miracle varieties from across the world. We sell Regent’s Park honey at work as a local product and many swear it is their salvation. I remember trying Ogilvy’s Zambezi Plains during the blind judging of the Great Taste Awards and just being struck at how complex the flavour was. Many on my judging table just didn’t get it, but whether or not you appreciate the end result, there was admiration for the product. Once we discovered after our votes just what went into producing it, I felt justified fighting that product’s corner.

Coming from a Jewish family, it is clear to me that there is simply one solution to all our ailments and that’s chicken soup. Passed down through the generations, the family chicken soup recipe is one that is always there at times of need. The elixir of life. There have been programmes and articles proving the benefits, but whether you want the technicalities or not, chicken soup is my medicine. It must be said that the following day in hospital my soup lunch was certainly not that. In fact, I could barely recognise how they produced that bowl of warm liquid but it didn’t matter. My family recipe waiting in the fridge for me at home.


And then there is fruit. Grapes are the cliche of hospital visits, but the blood oranges I was given the following week really were beautiful. They just seemed to give me energy and vibrancy, as well as being such a beautiful fruit when cut open. I guess it is the sugar that helps the body. And all those antioxidants.

Finally, the office team brought along a few treats too. The marshmallow samples made the most wonderful hot chocolate and at night there can be nothing better than that sweet rich milky treat which can only be enhanced with a melting marshmallow.

It’s funny how the body tells you what nourishment it needs if you really listen to it but given that my hearing was somewhat impeded by my recovery, it was lovely to have friends who brought just the right thing to help me along the way. Thank you.