Different Types Of Honey (An In-Depth Look)
All honey is made from flowers, right? Different types of honey are made from different flower species. Even though all honey may seem to have the same taste when used to flavor your meals or beverages, there’ll be a difference if tasted side by side.
Bees will travel for miles so as to get nectar and due to this, there is no way that the honey will taste the same.
Besides the taste alone, there’s also the state the honey is before you consume it; this basically depends on its processing stages.
How about we get straight to it, let’s first have a look at the extraction stages of honey…
Raw honey vs pasteurized honey
One assumption that most people make is that honey has to be pasteurized for it to be safe for consumption.
Being a common misconception, what happens is that you end up taking honey that is less nutritious and isn’t at all raw.
Raw honey contains most of the nutrients as obtained from the hive.
As for pasteurized honey, this honey that has been heated up to about 70 degrees Celsius then rapidly cooled. This is done so as to make it easier to filter and packaging.
The end result is honey that looks cleaner, smoother and eye-catching but way less nutritious- vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants are damaged by the heating.
Honey: Extraction Category
The first criteria upon which category honey is based is the extraction process. Here are some forms in which you can get the honey before consuming it.
Comb honey, as the name suggests comes in the same way it would exist if it were in the honeycomb.
Simply put, you get it just exactly the way the bees made it.
The comb is edible and more so, you get a lot of nutrients, enzymes, and vitamins from it. Just think of it as the healthiest state you can take the honey.
Liquid honey is another nutritious form of honey and probably the one that’s known to most people.
So as to come up with liquid honey, the honey extracted from the beehives is heated so as to melt the glucose crystals. In addition to this, it is filtered so as to eliminate any foreign particles.
Normally, liquid honey is unstable and it may revert to its crystalline state hence it is always advised that you heat it in a warm water bath before using it.
Similar to liquid honey, creamed honey is taken through a gentle filtration and warming process. The difference, however, comes in where the honey is re-crystallized.
In order for the re-crystallization to take place, the honey is mixed with previously creamed honey. This, in turn, makes the honey firm.
How firm the honey will end up depending on things such as the flowers from which it was extracted, the level of moisture in it as well as the temperatures under which it is stored.
Besides comb honey, chunk honey is the next best option you could get. So as to come up with chunk honey, a piece of comb honey is immersed in a jar that is filled with liquid honey.
Even though this is the least common type of honey, it can be quite attractive if presented in the best way.
Normally, after the honey is packed, it is then stored in a freezer so as to get rid of the lesser wax moth eggs. If this is not done, the eggs will hatch and there’ll be holes in the comb which can be a major turn off for you.
Dried honey is also referred to as powdered honey by some. Simply put, this is honey which has all the moisture removed from it.
So as to come up with dried honey, the original honey is mixed with another material such as starch. After this, the slurry honey is then dried up on a special double-drum dryer.
By doing this, the starch absorbs moisture from the honey and then releases it to the atmosphere. The dry product is less hygroscopic and will remain this way.
Types of honey : Natural varieties
Honey comes in different varieties and from different flowers. Listed down below are some of the natural states in which you can obtain honey.
Honey obtained from these flowers is normally light in color. In addition to this, the light honey will have a mild, spicy note to it and an awesome floral aroma. The taste is mild as well
If you are looking for something that you’ll use conveniently in dressings and sauces, then Avocado honey is definitely it. This honey has a rich, buttery taste to it and as for the color, it is darker.
Basswood honey is obtained from the flowers of the basswood tree. It is also known as Linden honey in the North America region and lime honey in Europe.
The cluster of flowers on the trees produces a lot of nectar. When fresh, it’s got a greenish color which becomes amber with time. The aroma and taste are quite strong.
This honey is obtained from the white flowers of the blueberry bushes. Similar to the alfalfa honey, blueberry honey is normally light and can be used to come up with white honey.
This type of honey is very dark and is similar to the molasses and malt that it shares the same taste with.
The flavor is quite strong and will leave a powerful aftertaste. It’s rich in iron and has a lot of anti-oxidants as well.
The nectar from which the honey is obtained is light in color hence you should expect the same when it comes to the color of the honey. The taste of the honey is milt and it surely will overwhelm your taste buds.
Besides being known for feeding koalas, eucalyptus provides nectar for the bees as well. Mostly found in Australia and California, this honey is outstanding for treating colds and headaches. It has a unique herbal taste to it unlike others honey.
This is widely available. Though most of what you’ll get on the market is artificially flavored, the real thing has a mild and citrus scent to it. The aroma is definitely pleasing but doesn’t expect it to smell like perfume.
Depending on the type of sage flower it comes from, sage honey can have a lot of different tastes. The color of the honey however holds- it’s water-white and the taste is sweet. It is known for being served with cheese.
This honey comes from the sourwood trees in the Appalachian Mountains. Similar to the flowers, the nectar is white in color.
Due to this, the honey you get from the sourwood is light as well. The taste is sweet and as for the scent, well, expect nothing but spicy.
Also known as floral, meadow or flower honey, this honey comes in different types of wildflower simply regarding the area.
The color of the honey is amber and has got a really sweet taste and delightful smell to it. Due to the different flower varieties, this type of quality honey good for improving the immune system.
Popular for its wound-healing properties, Manuka honey traces its heritage to the Manuka trees of New Zealand.
It simply does rival modern medicine. As for the taste, it’s not for everyone, expect it to be more medicinal.
Coming to the end of our article, it’s clear that there’s more to honey than just the sweet taste. Different types of honey have their own unique features.
Taking this into account, you should, therefore, make your selection based on what you really want.
Either way, just make sure you go for what’s healthy- start by choosing raw honey over pasteurized honey.