The next you purchase honey in a supermarket or grocery, pay close attention to the labels. You may notice that some of the brands mention different flowers, such as clover, orange blossom, and sourwood. You may not have realized this before, but the taste and color of honey can vary greatly depending upon what source of plant and floral life the bees have been harvesting from.
Most of us are used to simply purchasing the particular brand of honey we are most familiar with, not realizing that there is a whole world of sweet flavor waiting to be discovered. If you rarely use honey, this may not matter much to you, but if you savor the delicious sweetness on toast or with apples, or with other foods, you may want to contemplate seeing what else the world of honey has to offer.
Those in the culinary world and consumers familiar with gourmet foods may already be aware of the large variety of different honeys available on the market. The best place to find some of these varieties would be a store specializing in gourmet foods, as they will likely have imported honeys from across the globe. In America, we traditionally consume honey that is harvested either from Orange Blossom, tupelo, or sourwood. But other countries have their own favorites, such as lavender honey from France, and wild thyme honey, highly popular in Greece.
Traditionally, these honeys are created from a mixture of flowers, with the name of the type honey being the dominant flower. Honey harvested from a single type of flower is rare and valuable, and are referred to as monofloral honeys. Many monofloral honeys come from New Zealand, with flavors such as nodding thistle, manuka, and honeydew, among others.
In general, honey is also rich with antioxidants and antibacterial properties. But for some examples as to how all these honeys can differ, consider lavender honey from France, which is light colored, creamy and sweet, perfect for toast or tea, while buckwheat honey is robust and strongly flavored, ideal for pancakes and waffles. Buckwheat honey is often considered one of the healthier honeys, packed with nutrients.
Manuka honey normally possesses and earthy, woody flavor, while thyme honey will leave you with a lingering taste of the savory herb.
Many companies take great pride in their honey production, treating it as an art from rather than a business. For a great sampling of various honeys, visit the webpage of New Zealand based Airborne Honey, a company that produces a large amount of different flavored honeys with great skill. Their site, at http://www.airborne.co.nz, also includes a large wealth of information about honey and their processes. Airborne Honeys can be purchased at Amazon.com and other stores selling gourmet food.
At Amazon.com, you’ll also find a sampling of different organic honeys from Italy-based Poggio all’Olmo, as well as different gourmet honeys from many other companies.