Did you know that there are more than 300 distinct varieties of honey? Different types of honey are categorized by flower source, but even honey from the same flower in the same location can vary in taste, depending on temperature and rainfall. While lighter colored honey tends to be mild, dark honey tends to be stronger in taste.
Types of Honey: Extraction Categories
These categories describe how the honey is extracted and processed:
Comb honey is taken directly from the hive beeswax comb, just as it is stored by the bees.
Liquid honey is prepared by cutting the wax cappings and processing the combs in a honey extractor. The centrifugal force removes the honey from the cells.
Granulated honey is a powdered form of honey that is made by drying or freezing the honey in order to draw out the water.
Creamed honey is a blend of one part granulated honey and nine parts liquid honey that is stored at about 57 degrees until it becomes firm.
Chunk honey is comb honey stored in a jar with liquid honey poured over it.
Raw vs. Pasteurized Honey
Honey is also categorized as either raw, which means it has not been pasteurized, or processed honey, which has been heated and strained to kill bacteria such as botulism.
Types of Honey: Sweet, Natural Varieties
The National Honey Board lists some of the major honey varieties according to flower source. Here are some of our favorites with recommendations on how to use them:
Alfalfa – Honey from this flower is white or light amber-colored and is considered good for common, everyday use.
Avocado – Honey from the flowers of this plant tends to be darker in color and has a rich, buttery taste. Avocado honey is most commonly used in dressings and sauces.
Basswood – The honey that is derived from the blossoms of this tree is noted for its watery white color and its biting taste.
Blueberry – Blueberry honey, contrary to popular belief, is not honey with blueberries added. It is actually derived from blueberry flowers. Its color ranges from light amber to amber-colored. It has a full, well-rounded flavor and is great for making sauces and baking.
Buckwheat – Honey from buckwheat is dark brown with a strong, distinct flavor. It is best used in making barbeque sauce and in baking.
Clover – Clover honey is the variety that most people think of as common, table honey. Its color is white-water to extra light amber, and it has a delicate taste. Clover honey can be subdivided by the types of clover (Red Clover, White Dutch Clover, etc.) from which it is derived.
Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus honey is as varied as the species of plant from which it comes. It has a wide variety of color and flavor. It is best used in making sauces and dressings, and in baking.
Orange Blossom – Orange blossom honey can be pure or mixed with nectar from other nearby citrus flowers, such as lemon and lime. It is highly prized as a table honey and is also often used to bake cakes and cookies.
Sage – Sage honey comes in several varieties based on the type of sage flower it comes from. It is white or water-white in color and tastes rather sweet. This type of honey is often served with cheese.
Sourwood – This type of honey comes from the sourwood tree, and has a sweet and spicy flavor. It is used as table honey and also in glazes.
Submit your story or essay to Buzzworthy Blogs.