A honey-filled afternoon at Tristan

Slow Food hosts a screening and reception

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The bees are dying, surely an ominous sign of the looming apocalypse, right? Last Saturday afternoon, Slow Food Charleston kicked off its educational film series with the movie The Vanishing of the Bees, which helped put things in a bit of perspective.

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A few years ago, a rumor started that cell phones are causing the honeybee population to decline, but scientists have found the true perpetrator to be pesticides.

Scientists call the epidemic Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), and it’s causing bee farmers to lose over one-third of their honeybees. Agricultural monocultures are also to blame. But for years, CCD was a mystery, and now, pure honey is becoming harder and harder to find.

After the film, a small group of conscientious foodies went to Tristan for honey-inspired cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Executive Chef Nate Whiting created a stellar trio of snacks for the Slow Food supporters.

First was a toasted brioche topped with Saint-Andre cheese, whipped honey, and a freeze-dried strawberry.

Then, wait staff passed around a decadent foie gras torte, garnished with honey roasted peanuts and honey comb.

The last, popcorn chicken, was slightly more pedestrian but still quite delicious — a crunchy ball of chicken, skewered and dipped in a pool of honey mustard.

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The cocktail designed in honor of the evening was called the “The Bee’s Fris.” Made with fresh watermelon, strawberry, basil, lemon, honey, and Fris vodka — a real treat.

Moral of the story is to buy organic. Support your local honey farmers. And keep an eye out for the upcoming films in the Slow Food series.

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