Supermarkets, delicatessens and farm shops often have several different kinds of honey available whether natural, raw, or pure. However, many people are often unaware of the differences in taste, texture and use. So, here at Two Bees, we thought we’d give you some insight into why pure honey is a good option for you and your family.
What is pure honey and what makes it different from the competition?
Pure honey means that nothing has been added to change its consistency or flavour. Some other honeys will have elements such as oil or sweeteners added to them to create a specific taste and texture. The beauty of pure honey is that it doesn’t need any enhancements. It’s naturally sweet and gains its flavour from nature as it absorbs the environment in which it was created. There is a huge variety of pure honey including such well known types such as manuka, blossom and heather. Each pure honey is unique and diverse in taste because they’ve been generated around the world from the tropics of South America to the Highlands of Scotland in very different natural conditions.
However, pure honey is not raw honey. Raw honey can contain an assortment of natural matter including dirt whereas pure honey is filtered to remove such things. As a result, you can buy a jar of pure honey without finding any unsavoury surprises.
Some products will claim to be honey, and while this may be legally valid, they’re very different from pure honey. They often mix honey with other properties or chemicals such as corn syrup with the result that the honey is less authentic. The Guardian reported earlier this month that,
“Honey fraud can take many forms, from harvesting honey from beehives before it has matured and drying it artificially, to adding cheap sugars and syrups.”
Increasing imports of fake honey are pressurising beekeepers and pure honey producers to the point of “financial collapse”. In the same article, The Guardian noted that “thousands of commercial beekeepers in the US have taken legal action against the country’s largest honey importers” for allegedly importing high quantities of cheaper fake honey from Asian nations.
Why has pure honey become so popular?
The superior, individual taste of pure honey has led to it becoming more and more popular in recent years. In a society that has becoming increasingly concerned about human interference in the products it consumes, there’s something inherently reassuring about pure honey in its untampered state.
Pure honey can also have a positive impact on your health. Recent studies have revealed that heather and manuka honey, for instance, contain a good dose of minerals and can promote a strong gut. And, due to the high number of antioxidants in pure honey, there have been claims that heather honey can even reduce the likelihood of cancer.
How do I know what’s pure honey and what is not?
Thankfully, most brands will state ‘pure honey’ on the jar. This will help when you’re out and about, and if you’re unsure you can check online to make sure you’re buying the right product.
If you already have some honey at home and want to make sure that what you’ve bought is pure honey, there are a few steps you can take.
When pure honey is placed in water it will sink to the bottom of the receptacle whereas adulterated honey will dissolve. Additionally, while pure honey tends to be rigid and keeps its shape, fake or non-pure honey is likely to run off the spoon due to the oil or other ingredients that have been added.
Additional tests you can do to check the purity of honey include leaving it in a cupboard or cool place for a prolonged period. If you’ve opened your honey, and after months find that it has split into different layers, then the honey is not pure.
Pure honey does occasionally crystalise. To reverse the crystallisation process, you will need to warm the honey up. After doing this the honey will return to its natural state and can be easily spread on bread on toast. But make sure you’re careful when heating the pure honey because it can be flammable! While a sure way to test whether it is pure, you need to be cautious when doing this.
All in all, pure honey is a great option for many reasons. Pure honey is specific to a particular region or country, so buying it is a perfect way to support a community. It also makes a great gift or present for yourself if you want friends and family to experience something from a different culture. This level of individuality is not available in regular honey. And, because the health benefits of pure honey are considerable, you don’t have to feel guilty about having that extra spoonful!