Bit o' Honey

Your sweet tooth has become a bit of a snob lately. Boxed cake has been traded for gourmet cupcakes. Where Hershey’s once passed as comfort food, now only Valrhona confections will do. And packet sweeteners? No more imitations. You need the real thing.

Artemis Smiles’ hand-harvested, hand-extracted honey is one sweet that’s never processed, heated or filtered, preserving flavor as well as healing propolis and antioxidants. Owner Alison Yahna’s well-nourished bees feed throughout the year on one type of flower, producing rare, single-blossom honey full of the wild taste and smells of the Mauna Loa slopes where the hives are kept.

www.leichic.comAmazingly clear tropical clover honey sourced from sea-sprayed Ka Lae pastures is available now through June, prized white Lehua honey from Ka‘u forest reserve ‘ohia trees will be available in May, and bright golden Christmas Berry honey from lowland scrub forest appears in August. Yahna also cures divine chili pepper honey, great for marinades and dressings, or to toss with edamame.

Honey is shipped in plastic half-pound, one- and two-pound sizes, but Yahna recommends transfer to glass jars. And when ordering, mention Lei Chic to receive a just-for-you 15 percent discount.

It doesn’t get any sweeter than that.

Available on the Big Island at the Na‘alehu Wednesday and Saturday Markets, and online at