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Oh, honey

First of all, let me declare that I don't just eat sweets all day, nor do I endorse this behaviour (not publicly, at least). That being said, this is a pretty darn good cake.

It's flu season in the US and with NYC being particularly badly affected, a little honey can only help. A common East Asian remedy is "honey tea", but that tends to be sweetener and the main ingredient is invariably some anti-inflammatory ingredient like ginger or turmeric. Side bar - the chemicals (gingerols and shogaols) that make ginger gingery are related to capsaicins in peppers and thus the nostril-clearing effect.

That's not to say that honey acts simply as a spectator - it has anti-microbial properties too. When bees make honey for their own use, they store it in a hyperosmotic state (very low moisture content). This is one factor that prevents most bacteria from growing in honey, because they need water to survive. Enzymes (glucose oxidase) in the honey bee's hypopharngeal glan…

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