At Wai Meli, Honey Goes Au Naturale
All honey is not created equal.
“Having raw honey is now a rarity in big box stores,” says Kawika Sebag, owner and founder of Wai Meli Local Raw Honey. “Over 50 percent of honey that is purchased, imported and bottled in our country is actually what we call ‘funny honey.’”
“There’s good honey out there—you just need to know how to navigate it,” Kawika says optimistically.
That’s where Wai Meli comes in.
Kawika’s holistic approach begins with caring for the bees, which he raises using organic methods at his farm on Hawaiʻi Island. Depending on the season, he’ll take his operation on the road, delivering hives to spots where particular flowers are in bloom.
By doing this, Kawika is able to collect single-varietal honey, with each flavor being wildly different from the next. These taste profiles come from distinctive trees including macadamia nut, kiawe, and the native ʻōhiʻa.
“The beauty of this place is in its flora and fauna. By isolating certain nectar flows, you get these really unique taste profiles, colors and consistencies that come from different species of plants,” he explains
Kawika speaks of honey as a sommelier might differentiate between flavors and pairing options. He describes the dark complexion and rich-yet-soft notes of the macadamia nut honey, which he prefers drizzled over ice cream. The stunning white honey from kiawe blossoms exudes the taste and feel of powdered sugar, he says, noting that it’s perfect topped over yogurt or in green tea. Eucalyptus honey is reminiscent of caramel or butterscotch, and a spoonful is like nature’s candy.
“This variation is what makes honey so special, and it’s fun to share that with people who aren’t familiar with the diversity and seasonality of honey,” Kawika says
“Over the last few years there has been an awakening to what’s happening in our food system, and people are starting to go back to what’s local and pure,” he says. “That isn’t just good for us, it’s good for our communities and the environment.”
Show some aloha to the new homeowner in your life, a neighbor that just moved in, or even to your own household with these local products that make for the best housewarming gifts! Help loved ones spruce up their home with some Hawaiian island flair, and check out our collection of unique housewarming gifts from Hawai’i!
The practice to “mālama the ‘āina” (take care of the land) has always been at the forefront of people living in the Hawaiian Islands. Many Mana Up companies are rooted in practices of sustainability in Hawaii from creating reef-safe sunscreen products to crafting plastic-free food wraps. If you’re looking for sustainable gifts for yourself, friends or family, be sure to check out our roundup of products from these Earth-conscious makers.
Your loved one’s special day is coming up and you’re in need of a unique and thoughtful gift…well we have you covered! House of Mana Up has everything you need to secure the best Hawaiian gifts for birthdays from foodies to beauty gurus, keiki (kids) to friends, and everyone in between. Be sure to check out our ultimate Hawaii birthday gift guide. Shop our collection of Hawaiian birthday gifts!