My search for mead: In the winter I came across a recipe for a chicken dish that called for mead. Who knew that mead was difficult to find? I did some research on the internet and found only two places (meaderies) in the province of Ontario: Munro's Honey & Meadery (www.munrohoney.com) in Alvinston, Ontario and Rosewood Estate Winery in the Niagara Peninsula (www.rosewoodwine.com). Since I had already planned a visit to Pelee Island in July I decided to wait and visit Alvinston (west of London, Ontario) rather than purchasing online.
Mead history: Mead is claimed to be the first consumable alcoholic beverage dating back 10,000 years. Mead is simply the fermentation of honey and water and was believed to be medicinal, according to ancient Greeks or even magical, according to the Celts. The term "honeymoon" may refer to the Celtic wedding tradition of toasting the bride and groom with mead to ensure a long marriage and the newlyweds drinking mead for a lunar cycle to ensure a successful and fertile union. See the Rosewood Winery site for more information on mead.
Munro Honey & Meadery: I had a ferry to catch to Pelee Island from Leamington, Ontario at midday so I arrived early on Saturday morning to Alvinston. The saleswoman cheerfully poured each available type of mead for me to taste. Unfortunately the semi-sweet mead, their most popular mead, had sold out. I did not enjoy the blueberry or other fruit-flavoured mead as the sweet fruit overwhelmed the delicate honey flavour but the dry and sweet meads were both enjoyable and one of them, hopefully, will suit the chicken recipe that initiated this mead quest. At the suggestion of the saleswoman I also purchased Golden Aged Mead, although none was available for tasting. It is a dessert mead with a rich honey-brown appearance.
Food and mead pairing: I haven't tried the chicken recipe yet but I have soaked fresh peaches in the Golden Aged Mead, as suggested by friendly saleswoman. Mead soaked peaches over ice cream! Divine!
Honey products at Munro: It's worth the drive to Alvinston, if you like honey! After watching bees work busily in a hive enclosed within glass panes, I sampled honey at a tasting station. Munro has hives all around the region and produces a variety of honey and blended products. I couldn't resist their honey-cinnamon butter, honey with cinnamon, raspberry-jalapeño honey and buckwheat honey. The raspberry-jalapeño honey is exquisite in salad dressing over a kale salad with goat cheese, on roast chicken and drizzled over vanilla ice cream.