How is honey made?
By gathering flowers in bloom, the foraging bee collects nectar which it stores in its crop. When she returns to the hive, she regurgitates it directly into the jabot of a recipient bee. At this time, the nectar comes into contact with an enzyme before being regurgitated again in the cells of the hive. It’s the transformation of nectar into honey; the enzyme acts on the sucrose in nectar and turns it into glucose and fructose.
This is how every day bees produce honey, a 100% natural product, which is not only delicious, but also endowed with a thousand virtues for humans.
But nowadays how to choose honey well, and ensure its quality?
What is "good quality" Honey?
Honey is an entirely natural product, resulting from the work of bees alone. A good honey is therefore one that has not undergone any transformation. This is why it is essential to focus on its composition and its origin. Indeed, although French and European laws guarantee a very controlled product, there are nowadays a large number of frauds on the honey market, in France as in the rest of the World.
Always check the label of your honey jar to avoid any mixture of honeys, or honeys whose origin is vague such as "mixture of honeys originating in the EU" or "mixture of honeys originating in the EU and outside the EU ”. These honeys may have been adulterated with water or various other artificial sugars.
Guarantee optimal traceability with a certain provenance, and a pure composition. For this, we advise you to favor reliable points of sale, which offer you perfect traceability such as specialized stores or direct purchase from the beekeeper.
Buy honeys that have been analyzed beforehand in a specialized laboratory (like that of C.E.T.A.M for example) so that the following points are verified:
- No trace of adulteration of honey by various artificial sugars
- No trace in honey of antibiotics or other drugs to treat bees
- No trace of pesticides in honey
- Humidity rate less than or equal to 20% in order to optimize the conservation of honey
- The floral and geographical designation of honey corresponds to its pollen composition.
Only a complete analysis of the honey can guarantee optimum quality.
How to choose honey according to taste?
Each variety of honey is different in taste because it directly depends on the composition of the flowers gathered. As well as its color, which is linked to the pigments of the flowers gathered. So for the choice of your honey several criteria can be taken into account:
For an interesting but less distinctive flavor, we recommend an “all flower” honey, like our Spring Flower honey.
For a particular taste or virtues, choose a monofloral honey. That is a honey composed of a dominant pollen, present at least at 45%.
For example : Rhododendron honey for a sweet, flowery flavor.
Orange honey for a fragrant taste of orange blossom.
Heather Calluna honey for a bitterness at the finish
Blueberry honey for a fruity taste
Honeydew honey for a pronounced flavor
NB: A honeydew of fir, forest or oak will give you a pronounced taste and will be of an almost syrupy consistency. Honeydew is a substance that bees make from the excretions of sap from small aphids and that they consume on the leaves of trees.
How to choose your honey according to the consistency?
Each honey has a different texture, it depends on the composition of the flowers gathered. For example, Chestnut honey is liquid, Blueberry honey will be thicker and Bramble honey will be crystallized!
The consistency of honey can help you choose your honey according to your preferences.
But beware, all honeys crystallize with age! It is the natural process of a honey's life, although each honey crystallizes in its own way; more or less quickly, more or less strongly. So the Raspberry honey will crystallize quickly and coarsely, while the Acacia honey will always remain liquid for a long time.
If you want to liquefy your honey again, heat it in a bain-marie, but be careful not more than 35 ° it could lose its virtues. The temperature of the hive is 38 °.
The choice of consistency is therefore a matter of taste but it also depends on the mode of consumption.
Honey is a very good alternative to sugar because it has a sweeter power while being better for health. Indeed, 60g of honey replaces 100g of sugar.