A Tasting Tour of U. S. Honey Varieties There are many choices when it comes to sweeteners. However, no other sweetener has as many varieties as honey.
Honey is pure, all natural, and was first sweetener known to man. Honey is made when a bee changes the composition of nectar by adding moisture and enzymes. The product is then stored in bee combs and covered with bees wax. Honey comes in many shapes, colors, and has a variety of flavors.
Different types of honey come from different types of flowers. If there is an area with a large amount of one type of flower, a bee will produce honey with a flavor and color of the plant. In areas with various types of flowers, bees will produce natural blends of honey. Flavors of honey stretch from bland tastes to sweet pleasant ones. Honey colors can range from a light golden color to dark brown depending on the flower. Darker honey means it is a different taste, not that it is low quality.
Different forms of honey are produced and sold in stores. Comb honey is a filled beeswax comb and is stored directly by the bees. Liquid honey is produced by clipping the wax off of the comb and extracting the honey from the cells. Creamy granulated honey is made by mixing granulated honey with liquid honey.
Chunk honey is comb honey in a jar, covered with liquid honey. There are many common types of honey in the United States. Alfalfa honey is alight colored honey that comes from purple blossoms and has a mild taste. Honey from a dark avocado blossom is avocado honey. Blueberry honey is taken from the blueberry bush which has tiny flowers. Blueberry is sweet and has somewhat of a tart taste.
Fireweed is a honey light in color. This comes from a perennial herb found in Northern and Pacific states. Honey with a distinctive taste, golden color, and green cast is tupelo honey. Tupelo honey has a high fructose content, so it takes longer to granulate than other honeys. Wildflower honey is honey that is undefined at could have come from several different flowers. Sourwood honey comes from the sourwood tree which can grow up to 60 feet tall.
Sourwood trees mostly grow and the mountains and can be found in Northeast Georgia. This honey has a sour taste. Maple honey is very sweet and tastes similar to maple syrup. Most honey produced in the US is clover honey. Clover honey has a mild taste. The color depends on the type of clover, but can be anywhere from water white to amber.
Types of clover most used in honey production are red, white, and yellow sweet clovers. In areas such as Southern California, light colored honeys such as sage and orange blossom are common. Sage honey has a mild sweet flavor and is often mixed with other honeys since it usually takes a long time to granulate. Orange blossom honey is fresh and has a citrus scent and taste. Also common in California is eucalyptus honey.
This honey comes from a diverse groups of plants that have many different flavors and shades of color. A dark honey containing antioxidant compounds is buckwheat honey. The taste of buckwheat honey has been compared to that of raisins. Safflower honey has a taste similar to cinnamon. The many types and flavors of honey make it a great natural sweetener.
There are many different flowers which produce the great variety of honey in the United States. It can be concluded that honey is a sweetener with a diverse background throughout different areas of the nation.