“It’s a whole different ball game when you’re showing than when you’re selling,” Irene Merrilees added.
Baker explained the guidelines for honey judging, which are based on the taste, aroma and appearance. Baker uses a device called a polariscope to inspect the appearance and color of the honey for impurities.
Merrilees said entries for the baking class can be from anyone, not just beekeepers. She said some fairs don’t have a baking class, but they added one for the Huron County Fair because it “encourages people to bake with honey.”
Recipes that use honey are free of sugar and molasses, she added.
Merrilees stressed the importance of buying honey locally, or at least within the United States. Of course, she said it supports the local beekeepers, but she also stated that some of the honey from other countries can be contaminated with harsh chemicals.
This year, John Schick, of Norwalk, won best of class in both the honey and baking classes.
Baker said there wasn’t much competition in the baking class, however Schick’s pecan blueberry pie would have been a competitive entry regardless.