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Honey Styles

Comb honey: The most natural way of eating honey, and perhaps the only way it might have mysterious life-enhancing nutrients. This is because in this raw state it still contains pollen and colloids containing vitamins and minerals. Most of these are lost when honey is processed - possibly all when it is pasteurised as well. To have these extra benefits you must eat the waxy cells as well.

Clear honey: if factory produced, this has probably first been treated by heat to remove the wax plugs and then put in a centrifuge to make a consistent clear liquid. Most is then pasteurised after bottling to increase its shelf life. Almost without exception, the best honeys are never clear and runny, but set.

Set honey: the same as above but whipped to thicken, and make it more manageable. If heated it would revert to clear honey again.

As well as shelf live, pasteurising stops honey granulating. However, never be put off by granulated honey, as if it is gently warmed it will return to its normal consistency. Indeed, granulation generally only occurs in honey of high quality.

There is nothing to beat the best unpasteurised honey from a small producer living in the right area; but this shouldn"t be fed to children under one, as it can contain spores of various kinds easily dealt with by slightly older bodies. See 'Honey'; 'Honey, Beneficial Powers'

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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