Sage honey is a monofloral honey that has a low crystallization rate and moisture content. California’s sage honey, which is light to golden in color, is predominately White Sage and Black Button Sage; whereas Purple Sage is more common in Texas and produces a darker to almost black looking honey.
The largest source for Sage honey throughout the world comes from the United States, with the highest percentage being produced in California. Sage is normally harvested for the leaves to use as an herb for cooking; however, to produce sage honey, the plants are not harvested for the leaves but are instead left to develop flowers.
Be sure to get “raw” unprocessed honey to receive the multifaceted health benefits from honey.
Sourwood honey is produced from the nectar of the sourwood tree. Sourwood honey is not sour. Some describe it as having a slight hint of anise and spice with a buttery aftertaste.
This type of honey is very popular in the Appalachian region and is the only type that some folks there will eat.
Sourwood honey is a light amber but may be a bit “muddied” with the reddish nectar from neighboring sumac trees in some regions. This is because the nectar of the sourwood flowers is not available for harvest until the afternoon, so the busy bees do not collect the available sumac nectar until then.
Elevation affects the volume of nectar produced by the sourwood trees; the higher the elevation, the more nectar that is produced. The best altitude for producing sourwood honey is above the 1,000-foot above sea level line. These trees also have a short blooming season, making the honey in short supply.
Sourwood honey is a good source of minerals and antioxidants and, as with other honeys, it has anti-bacterial properties. Applying raw honey to wounds and burns may speed the healing process. This honey has a unique flavor of its own and blends well with hot teas for soothing a sore throat.
Who would know more about Tupelo honey than a five-generation producer of it; in business since 1898. So far, this rare honey has only been commercially produced from one location – in the swamps of Florida – where the tupelo gum trees flourish. The common name tupelo is formed from the Creek words ito meaning “tree” and opilwa for “swamp.” This tree is native to eastern North America from southern Ontario down through parts of Florida and extends into regions of Texas and parts of New Mexico, but to produce tupelo honey, there must be a large area of densely populated tree growth.
Tupelo trees thrive in swamps where seasonal flooding and damp soil conditions can make it difficult for beekeepers. In these areas hives are placed on elevated platforms.
L.L. Tupelo Honey states. “Real Tupelo honey is a light gold amber color with a greenish cast and has a unique floral fragrance. The flavor is delicious, delicate and distinctive. Tupelo is a delightful sensation to the taste buds. Good, white tupelo unmixed with other honeys will not granulate, due to its high fructose low glucose ratio.”
In a sensory study conducted by the National Honey Board, findings revealed that Tupelo Honey had a high spicy, cinnamon aroma and flavor (Rtech laboratories, 2001).
Tupelo honey possesses several aromatic compounds unique to it alone, and other compounds not commonly found in other honeys. An analysis of tupelo honey found 51 aromatic compounds with three particularly prominent.
The Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison sang about this precious honey, which is produced in southeastern United States, in his 1971 song, “Tupelo Honey.”
Honeycomb is a natural product from young worker bees and is safe to eat. The wax comb contains antioxidants and other nutrients that have been associated with lowering the risk of heart disease and some types of cancers.
Due to so many food allergies when they were young, my boys hardly ever had chewing gum. As a substitute for that, one of them preferred to chew honeycomb and would get a small piece of it about once a day.
The wax that makes up honeycomb is very sticky and hard to remove from surfaces. Do not pour honeycomb wax down the drain as it can quickly cause clogged pipes. To remove the wax from counters and utensils, use a soft scrubbing pad and cool soapy water. Hot water will melt the wax just long enough for it to quickly redeposit onto a nearby surface. Keeping the water cool will help the soap coat the small, but intact, wax balls as they are scrubbed off.
Raw honey may contain clostridium botulinum and should not be given to children under one year old. While this bacterium is harmless to older children and adults, the immature digestive system of a baby has not had time to become immune to it.
Part 6 of 6