Honey Color and Flavor

There are hundreds if not thousands of monofloral and wildflower honey varieties available in the world. Monofloral honey is a type of honey comes from the nectar of one plant species and wildflower honey comes from the nectar of distinct combination of different plant species. Honey is produced in every part of the world. Depending on floral source location, some types of honeys are produced only in some regions such as Manuka honey is produced only in New Zealand and Australia. Honey color ranges from water white to dark amber and its flavor varies from delectably mild to distinctively bold depending on the nectar source. Light colored honey usually has a mild flavor while antioxidants rich darker honey has a strong flavor. Over time the honey will darken and flavor will change but it will be safe to eat indefinitely. Honey should be stored in a cool dry area inside a tightly covered container.

Acacia

Acacia honey is made from the nectar that honey bees gather from the flowers of black locust or false Acacia trees. It’s usually light colored with a mild taste containing hints of vanilla. Acacia honey granulates slowly compared to the other varieties of honeys due to its high fructose content. European countries are the major Acacia honey producers in the world.

Alfalfa

Alfalfa honey mainly produced throughout the United States and Canada from the purple Alfalfa blossoms. It’s light in color and has a pleasingly mild aroma and flavor. Except for that, Alfalfa honey is a good source of antioxidants and has a full spectrum of minerals and vitamins.

Aster

Aster honey comes from numerous species of late summer blooming Aster flowers. The flavor of Aster honey depends on region and species of Aster. It’s usually light amber in color and prone to crystallize quickly. The United States is the main Aster honey producer in the world.

Avocado

Avocado honey is mainly produced from California avocado blossoms in the United States. It has a rich dark color with a strong flavor. The flavor is like molasses without the bitterness. Avocado honey is high in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

Beechwood

Beechwood honey is a rare variety of honey produced by honey bees from the aromatic sap of the Beechwood trees in New Zealand. It’s pollen free, dark amber in color and has a woody flavor. Beechwood honey has high levels of antioxidants and is known as a prebiotic.

Blueberry

This is a good variety of honey with a deep rich flavor profile gathered from the tiny white blossoms of wild Blueberry bushes. Blueberry honey is a rich source of antioxidants and usually light amber in color. It’s ideal for salad dressings, cooking, sauces and toast. The United States is the top Blueberry honey producer in the world.

Buckwheat

Buckwheat honey is a highly nutritious honey made by honey bees that collect nectar from tiny white Buckwheat flowers. It’s dark in color and pungent in flavor with a strong molasses taste. This delicious honey is mainly produced in New York, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio as well as in eastern Canada.

Christmas Bush

Christmas Bush honey is produced by honey bees from the nectar of Christmas Bush flowers that bloom only once a year. It’s amber in color and has a creamy rich texture with a warm distinct flavor. Tasmania is the main Christmas Bush honey producer in the world.

Clover

Clovers contribute more to honey production than any other group of plants and it’s one of the most widely available honey varieties in the United States and Canada. Depending on the source of Clover, its color varies from water white to amber. Clover honey is a perfect ingredient for salad dressings, light sauces and baking.

Coral Vine

Coral Vine honey is mainly produced in Sri Lanka, India and Malaysia from the pink and white Coral Vine blossoms. Its color varies from light to dark amber and has a similar taste to molasses with a tang. Coral Vine honey is rich in antioxidants and extremely slow to granulate.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus honey is a good antiseptic because of its germicidal properties. Therefore, it’s commonly used for healing burns, wounds, ulcers, cuts and sores. This highly valuable honey is made by honey bees that collect nectar from over 500 distinct Eucalyptus species and thereby it varies greatly in color and flavor. The United States, Australia, Italy and Brazil are the major Eucalyptus honey producers in the world.

Fireweed

Fireweed honey is made from the nectar that honey bees collect from the beautiful pink blossoms of Fireweed plants. It’s light in color and has a sweet delicate flavor. This is a good honey for sweetening tea. Canada and Alaska are the main Fireweed honey producers in the world.

Leatherwood

Leatherwood honey is a rare variety of honey comes from Tasmania. It’s made from the nectar that honey bees collect from the white Leatherwood blossoms. Leatherwood honey is low in acidity, buttery, creamy and ochre yellow in color. It’s richer in antioxidants than other Australian honeys.

Mango

Mango honey produced extensively throughout India, Sri Lanka and Hawaii from the blossoms of Mango trees during the Mango season. It’s pale orange in color and has a light fruity flavor. Mango honey is rich in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.

Manuka

Manuka honey is made in New Zealand and Australia by honey bees that pollinate the Manuka blossoms. Pure sourced Manuka honey is one of the most expensive honeys in the world because of its unique properties and benefits. It’s dark colored, strongly flavored with a herbal characteristic.

Neem

Neem honey is used to treat high blood pressure, allergies, skin problems, throat infections and dental illnesses in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s dark in color and has a robust flavor profile. India is the main Neem honey producer in the world.

Orange Blossom

Orange Blossom honey is usually made from mixed citrus nectars including oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines, mandarins and many others. It’s incredibly aromatic, light in color and mild in flavor with a light citrus fruity taste. Orange Blossom honey is mainly produced in California, Florida and Texas.

Red Gum

Red Gum honey is one of the premium varieties of honeys produced mainly in Australia. It’s dark in color and has a higher level of antioxidants compared to other Australian honey varieties. Its antimicrobial properties make it a natural healer which inhibit bacterial growth, reduce infections and enhance healing.

Sage

Sage honey is made from the nectar that honey bees gather from the Sage blossoms. It’s light in color and has a sweet delightful balanced flavor similar to tupelo honey. Sage honey is very slow to granulate and suitable for blending with other honeys to slow down granulation. California is the main sage honey producer in the United States.

Sourwood

Sourwood honey is produced by honey bees from the Sourwood tree blossoms during June and July in the United States. It’s light in color and has a delicious sweet creamed caramel flavor. Sourwood honey is known for its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.

Tupelo

Tupelo honey is one of the rarest honeys in the world. It’s normally light golden amber in color and has a mild distinctive taste. Tupelo honey granulates very slowly because of its high fructose content. This delicious and premium honey is mainly produced in the United States.

Wildflower

Wildflower honey, also known as polyfloral honey is often used to describe honey from miscellaneous and undefined flower sources. Its flavor, aroma and color differ depending on the nectar sources visited by the honey bees. Raw Wildflower honey is a good source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

Conclusion

Honey color and flavor varies depending on the floral source where honey bees collect nectar. There are hundreds of distinct honey varieties available in the world today with different nutritional and health benefits. Honey has minerals like sulfur, calcium, potassium, sodium, copper, iron, manganese and magnesium. It also has essential vitamins and dark colored varieties are high in antioxidants. Some honeys like Manuka and Leatherwood are expensive because of their proven health benefits and lack of availability.

Honey Facts

  • Bees have made honey for millions of years.
  • Honey is one of the few foods known to have a long shelf life.
  • Moisture content of honey should be around 18%.
  • Honey starts fermenting when it has higher moisture content.
  • Honey is much more than just a simple sugar. It has essential minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Honey should not be consumed by infants under one year of age or those with a compromised immune system.
  • An average honey bee colony can produce anywhere from 5 to 50 kilograms of honey a year.
  • Honey is an essential ingredient in ayurvedic medicine.
  • Not all bees make honey and not all honey is made by bees. Some wasp species like Mexican honey wasp also produces honey.
  • The purest form of Manuka honey can cost 100 times the price of normal honey.

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