It has featured on the menu at Quay, Firedoor, The Dolphin and The Bridge Room.
It’s the latest buzzword in the hospitality industry – Malfroy’s Gold. The award-winning Blue Mountain honey is so popular with chefs (think Peter Gilmore, Lennox Hastie, Monty Koludrovic) some have even created dishes around it.
It’s not just the taste they love, it’s the natural and sustainable way it’s produced, with many calling it the only true wild and natural honey in the country.
“Honey is a massive fascination for me, it’s such a magical food, and sadly most of the stuff that people have access to today is just a shadow of its former glory,” says Tim Malfroy, founder of Malfroy’s Gold.
While most people tend to think of honey as just another breakfast condiment, for Tim, it’s one of the purest expressions of terroir you will find.
“Bees capture the landscape even more so than wine or cheese and that’s because it’s the biology of bees. They were designed to distil the environment and that’s what they’ve been doing for millions of years.”
Born to beekeepers in the Blue Mountains, it was only a matter of time before Tim and his wife Emma, decided to start their own apiary.
At that time, there were a lot of issues in the beekeeping industry. The price of honey was low and pests and disease, including nosemosis and American and European foulbrood, were causing global panic.
“It was a challenging time for the industry and it forced me to rethink how I wanted to keep the bees. We decided we wanted to create a sustainable model that would focus on the health and resilience of the bee colonies, rather than the honey production,” Tim says.
“We wanted to grow the bees naturally, so for those first five years, we didn’t harvest a single drop.”
While the term ‘wild honey’ can be thrown around a lot, for Tim it refers to a lot more than just where the bees are foraging.
Malfroy’s bees are truly wild. They’re not farmed or bred. They’re simply left to live and reproduce naturally.
Tim has created special bee-friendly hives for his swarms, called Warré hives, which are designed to respect the natural workings of a colony.
The hives, which are made from salvaged local timber, require minimal intervention from Tim or Emma.
“We let them do their thing, they are actually much better at complex decision making than humans are.”
Perhaps most unique of all, Malfroy’s bees are able to build their own comb. Elsewhere in the industry, it is standard practice for beekeepers to supply their bees with artificial combs, which enables them to increase their yield.
“It seems like a normal thing to let the bees build their own comb, but for maybe 170 years or so, all honey has been produced from artificial comb.”
Malfroy’s Gold produces monofloral honey from the Central Tablelands, including a red stringybark, red ironbark and yellow box honey and a green mallee from the Central West, however, it’s the polyflora honey from the world heritage Blue Mountains that has really impressed palates.
“The Blue Mountains is such an amazing place to produce honey. As bees are able to cover a vast area, they get the chance to gather nectar and pollen from amazingly diverse eco-regions like open forest, woodlands, rainforest, heathland and swampland.”
The Blue Mountains is also one of the world’s greatest wildflower regions with thousands of different flower species, resulting in limitless flavour combinations.
“About two millions florals go into every jar of honey,” Tim says. “The taste of the honey can change quite a lot depending on the seasons and what’s flowering at that time.
“While the monoflorals will show some slight variation, it’s much more pronounced in the polyflorals. Each jar will have a different colour and flavour profile, especially if you buy the jars a month or so apart.”
Like a fine wine, Malfroy’s honey is designed to be savoured rather than stirred into tea.
Tim and Emma like to drizzle some on their morning yoghurt with figs and walnuts or have it alongside a really good cheese. However, more often than not, they eat it straight from the jar. “We have a spoonful each day for good health,” Tim says.
Malfroy’s Gold Blue Mountains World Heritage Post Brood Polyflora Wild Honey was awarded a gold medal in the 2019 Delicious Harvey Norman Produce Awards.