Honey is made of the stuff of summer. From warm rains and sun feeding plants to flower. Stirred with a steady song in the bellies of bees.


A drizzle of honey runs slow and heavy like the summer heat. And good honey, of which there is plenty in the Valley, truly elevates a cup of tea, a bowl of salad, or a dish of ice cream with that sweet-warm taste of summer. Our publisher, Mary Reilly, takes us inside the hive on page 17 and then into the kitchen with honey on page 19.

Summer means eating al fresco. That might mean lunch from Amherst’s New York Halal Cart (page 25), a sweet treat to go from Hot Oven Cookies in Holyoke (page 35), or barbecue in the backyard or out on the town (page 32).

And what would summer be without tomatoes? In Chef’s Kitchen on page 5, Chef Sanford D’Amato has two tomato recipes for us—one quick and easy, one with a bit more flair. While waiting for those Beefsteaks and Sungolds to ripen, you can read about another summer favorite: fish. From the hatchery to the riverbank, on page 28 Laura Sayre takes a closer look at local fishing.

This issue marks the start of our fifth year as your local culinary quarterly. Thanks to you and our advertisers, we will continue combing the Valley’s fields and kitchens for stories and recipes that help readers connect with their neighbors and their meals. What could be sweeter than that?

Marykate Smith Despres