If you’ve ever purchased a jar of honey at a supermarket, then you probably assumed you were eating “the real thing”. Unfortunately research has shown that up to 75 percent of the honey Americans buy at a grocery store is not raw honey since it doesn’t contain any pollen. Instead, most supermarket “honey” has been ultra filtered to remove the pollen. Even worse news is that sometimes its mixed with high fructose corn syrup or contains nasty things like lactose, and antibiotics.
Raw honey contains antioxidants and is often thought to have medicinal benefits. So, when shopping for honey, it might be a good idea to buy it at a farmers’ market, co-op, or a natural foods store to make sure you’re getting your raw unneeded honey complete with pollen.
When it comes to variety, did you know that there are over 300 flavors of honey the available in the United States? The color and flavors depend on the source of the nectar (from the blossoms or trees) collected by the honeybees. Generally, light-colored honey is milder in taste; dark-colored tends to be stronger.
Guide to Honey Flavors:
Acacia is pale yellow with a mild, sweet, floral flavor and is a very popular variety.
Avocado is dark in color, with a rich, buttery taste, gathered from California avocado blossoms.
Black Locust honey is fragrant and fruity, ranging in color from water-white to lemon yellow to yellow green.
Buckwheat is purple to black in color, full-bodied and high in antioxidants.
Dandelion is yellow, has a strong flavor, and is great on toast, muffins and pancakes.
Fireweed is light in color with a mild flavor.
Goldenrod is a golden, spicy, mildly pungent tasting honey.
Horsemint is white to light amber in color and has a minty flavor.
Manuka honey is dark cream to tan or dark brown and can be used both internally and topically on the skin.
Sourwood is extra-light to light amber in color, very aromatic, with a distinctive, rich honey flavor.
Tupelo is a mild, premium honey, heavy-bodied and usually light golden amber in color.
Wildflower honey comes from the nectar of various species of flowers. The taste, aroma and flavor vary from season to season.
When it comes to flavored honey you can choose from berry flavors such as raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, cranberry, and elderberry. Fruity flavors include apple, lemon, peach, grape, cherry and watermelon.
Featured Image (CC) Emily Nahmanson
Kathy Tirrell, is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Women’s World and Writer’s Digest Magazine. She also writes about health and wellness for Rhode Island Prime Time. She lives in East Providence, RI with her husband and family.
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