Certain things we would like you to know about honey

The existence of honey as a high value nutrient is known since the ancient times. In ancient Olympia, the birth place of the Olympic games, athletes used to consume honey and dried figs to enhance their athletic performance prior to the competition games, as well as after the games with a view to restore lost energy and to strengthen their immune system.

The purity of honey can be tested on its crystallization properties. While the effect of crystallization is a positive indication with respect to the purity of the honey, bringing it to crystallization is not considered to be the proper condition for its storage and maintenance. Honey crystalizes faster when exposed to temperatures of between 10o to 15o Celsius, while it resists crystallization at temperatures of 25o Celsius and above. At the same time, it is recommended that you should avoid exposing your honey to temperatures of above 40o degrees Celsius for longer periods of time, as this has a detrimental effect on its beneficial properties. Hence, the ideal storage condition is at room temperature (i.e. 21o – 27o Celsius).

Here are some valuable tips that you should keep in mind:

  • Avoid the storage of your honey in cold temperatures (i.e. 11o – 18o Celsius), which will cause its crystallization;
  • Do not keep your honey in the refrigerator either, as this will cause the same effect of crystallization;
  • In case of crystallization, honey can be brought back to its original liquid condition and cohesion through light heating in a lukewarm water bath (Bain Marie) or at low oven temperatures for approximately 25 minutes;
  • The crystallization of honey is a natural process and should not be confused as being an indication that the quality has been tampered with. It constitutes a fully reversible process with no loss of nutritional properties whatsoever;
  • Do not expose honey to sun as this may alter its ingredients.

Honey Tasting Suggestions

Use a clean spoon and apply the honey to your tongue. Let it slowly melt on your tongue, however, without swallowing it. Initially you will get the feel of its sweetness before you get the feel of its texture, which varies depending on the type of honey, e.g. pine honey is thicker in texture compared to flower honey which has a thinner and softer texture. While inhaling from your mouth and exhaling from your nose will allow you to get acquainted to the aroma of each honey type, your palate will get stimulated by its taste. Do not use the same spoon for further testing of a different honey type, as they enzymes of your mouth will alter the components of the honey. We do recommend to use a new spoon. You should experience a slight burn in the back of your throat, which is an indication of high volumes of pollen in your honey sample, which in turn is an indication of its purity. Of course, there are many different ways to taste honey, each one left to the discretion of the consumer.

Another way of testing and tasting honey moves the priority to your sense of smell. When opening the honey jar taking deep, full and close breaths should give you a feel for the aroma of your honey. Obviously, different types of honey offer different scents, thus flower honey has a richer aroma due to the variety of the flowers involved, while pine honey has less of an aroma as it is derived from the honeymoon excreted on tree trunks.