Everyone thinks of honey as a Natural, nutritious item, right? Well, if you find a wild beehive in the wilderness, and brave the bees to scoop out a few, then yes, you may enjoy a natural and healthy mouthful of raw honey, packed with vitamins, enzymes and minerals. But did you know that nearly all honey on sale does not have any nutritional value in any way? Well it is true. Most commercially-produced cheap honey you will see in grocery stores is not any better for you than table sugar or corn syrup. Let me clarify:
Raw honey, as it is from the Beehive, contains an estimated 600 components, making it a truly distinctive product in nature. A number of these components have been demonstrated to be great for us, and lots of others we do not yet fully understand. By way of instance, honey has been demonstrated to have antibacterial properties that make it useful in curing. It is also a fantastic source of antioxidants, so essential in our diets, and contains a wide assortment of vitamins too. Industrial processing, particularly heating, eliminates virtually all these valuable components of honey, which makes mostly water and sugars. So please do not bother spreading a cheap brand of honey on your toast. Save your cash and get some plain old corn syrup rather, it is equally useless as a healthy food.
Then we come to the topic of taste. Comparing unprocessed honey into a cheap processed brand is like comparing a nice wine into industrial alcohol. The actual thing evokes the very essence of the flowers where the bees feed to create it. It is a heavenly, floral odor; its flavor is truly as complicated and diverse as that of great wine or virgin olive oil, which range from the punchy, powerful kick of this dark buckwheat honey into the delicate floral touch of Florida’s mild tupelo.
So what really is raw honey and how can you be certain that you get what you pay for? Unfortunately, in law there’s no definition for this, meaning some unscrupulous manufacturers and importers tag their honey as raw when it is truly processed to within an inch of its life. What I do is use the honey tag as a starting point to buy raw honey online. Start Looking for a manufacturer with a reputation, a history. Search for words such as unheated and unfiltered. Honey should never be heated to over 118 degrees F or its valuable nutrients will be ruined. It can be lightly strained without losing any goodness, but filtering using ordinary industrial filters is hopeless since the unheated honey is too thick to run through, so unfiltered on the tag is generally a good sign. A side-effect of not filtering means you get small grains of pollen in the honey, so in case you find some little dark specks in a jar you are usually taking a look at the actual thing.