Whether you’ve just eaten it or used it for its many uses and benefits, you are likely acquainted with honey. With over three hundred varieties, you could literally never run out of flavor combinations and uses.
Honey is produced by honey bees from flower nectar. The bees collect the nectar, break it down into simple sugars, and store it in the hive. The part of the hive that the bees store the nectar in is called the honeycomb. The honey is then harvested by beekeepers. Depending on the size of the operation, honey is usually harvested from the honeycomb by first breaking off a wax layer over the honeycomb, and then filtered through a centrifuge. However, depending on what kind of honey you are purchasing, the honey may not be filtered at all or specialty filtered.
Types of Honey
Across the United States, there are well over three hundred different variations of honey. Depending on the region you live in and the plant population, honey in your local area is likely very different than honey from somewhere else. The color and flavor will differ from location to location, and also depending on what floral nectar the bees are frequenting.
Types of honey are typically broken into four categories:
* Liquid Honey is filtered through the cells of the honeycomb using a centrifuge. With this process, the wax layer or “cap” is removed prior to extracting the honey.
* Creamed Honey is made by the blending of liquid honey and a small amount of granulated honey. This type of honey is firm instead of pourable like liquid honey.
* Comb Honey is extracted directly from the hive and stored without filtering of any type.
* Chunk Honey is a chunk of comb honey with liquid honey poured on top of it.
Within these categories, the variations of flavors and color are endless. Typically, the darker the honey the stronger the flavor. Lighter coloring will give you a lighter flavor.
Some popular honey flavors are clover, tupelo, wildflower, alfalfa, and orange blossom. Each honey that is made with a different variation of flower nectar will taste and look distinctly different.
Honey is an extremely versatile substance. There are many different uses for honey. Some of those uses include:
* Eating – Of course, the most popular purpose of honey is consumption through eating. Honey is delicious on its own, but does its best work when adding flavor and sweetness to food and drink. Try using honey instead of sugar to sweeten your tea, or use it in any of your recipes. Honey is nature’s perfect all-natural sweetener.
* Reducing allergies – Studies show that consuming at a few tablespoons of local raw honey can help reduce allergies. It is recommended that you use only raw honey from your immediate local area. This is believed to work because your body builds immunity to the local flower and plant population as a result of consuming their nectar.
* Health and beauty – Honey has natural antibiotic properties. It has been used as a wound and burn covering since ancient times, although it is recommended that you stick to modern medicines when possible. It is possible for your store-bought honey to become contaminated.
* Honey isn't just for sweetening your cereal, it's an excellent cough suppressant too! Try a spoonful of honey before bed at night to calm your coughing so you can sleep a little better.
Honey is also used in a lot of beauty products. It helps retain moisture and promotes a bright, even skin tone. Honey is an excellent additive for lotions, shampoos, and soaps.
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