Honey has been used for many years as a sweetener. It’s also known for its medicinal properties. In fact, honey is one of the oldest natural remedies around.
With bee populations going down, and with the general interest in natural products going up, it seems that honey is on everyone’s mind. It was a very expensive food item that many could not afford. It is still viewed as a precious commodity.
But did you know that there are different types of honey? And that each type has a unique taste?
In this article, I’ll explain why honey tastes so sweet.
The sweetness of honey comes from two main sources: The sugar content of the nectar source and how much water evaporates during processing.
When bees collect pollen to make their honey they take some back home to feed their young. This pollen contains sugars which get converted into glucose when mixed with enzymes found inside the hive. These enzymes break apart the complex carbohydrates present in the flower’s nectars into simple sugars like fructose and glucose. This mixture then gets stored in special cells called “honeycombs” where it can be fermented by bacteria or yeast until all the moisture evaporates leaving behind pure concentrated syrup.
There are three major differences between honey and other sweeteners. First, honey doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients such as corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. Second, honey is naturally low glycemic meaning it won’t cause your blood sugar levels to spike too quickly after eating it.
Firstly you need to understand what honey is. Honey is the winter food of a bee colony. They always produce more honey than they need. Humans domesticated honey bees and left them for the winter with a little from each colony. When spring arrives, the bees return to their hives and start collecting nectar again. As soon as they have collected enough nectar, they fly off to deposit it in wax combs located at the bottom of the hive. Once the honeycomb is full, the queen lays eggs and the workers begin harvesting the honey.
The honey is supposed to end up in a hive. Let’s follow a worker bee. She drank up the nectar in the flowers, from one flower to the next. When she got to her last stop, she would have drunk enough liquid to fill an average-sized glass jar. Then she would fly off to find another place to drink. After drinking at least half of the available nectar, she would return to the hive. There she would deposit the remaining nectar in wax combs. As soon as the nectar dried out, the bees would start working on breaking down the nectar into simpler substances using enzymes. Once the process is complete, the bees will add propolis to seal the comb. Bees use propolis to protect themselves against infections and parasites. Propolis is sticky because of the resins secreted by glands located near the mouthparts of the bees.
Honey is very viscous due to its large amount of dissolved solids. It also tends to crystallize over time. To prevent these problems, honey must be kept warm and stirred frequently. If not, crystals form and clump together forming lumps.
The bees reduce the amount of moisture in the honey so it becomes thick. Each bee was exposed to the more and more air that it received after the nectar was collected. It’s much like a fruit preserve or a cooked-down syrup. The sugar in honey is good for preserving and it is a very good thickener.
Honey is dark because it is made from high levels of minerals. The mixture becomes more concentrated and dark as it loses more water. A light one will become golden while a dark one will become darker.
Each flower has its own smell and taste. This is why mixed-flower honey has a golden color, and why the season can vary greatly in terms of honey color. The bees don’t care about the kind of flowers they see, they just look for the flowers that have a liquid in them.
The pale yellow flowers will turn into the palest yellow when turned into honey. The quality of the soil can affect the color and concentration of minerals in the flowers.
The bees’ feet may be covered with pollen that can cause the honey to be a darker or more golden color. It’s possible for honey to become darker when it’s exposed to high temperatures.
The honey color varies from season to season, depending on when the flowers are in bloom. Depending on when and where the nectar was collected, each hive can have multiple-colored honey stashes.
Yes! Honey contains antioxidants which help fight free radicals. Antioxidants can slow aging and improve overall health. Also, honey helps kill bacteria and viruses. This means if you get sick during flu season, try adding some honey to your tea or hot chocolate. You’ll feel better faster.
The honey’s flavor is better if it’s darker. You cannot alter the mineral content at home because of the antioxidant content of the nectar. A lot of honey is Pasteurized honey, and a mixture of several honey types. If you want to get yourself raw, the light or dark ones are better for you because they’re closer to the original color.
Honey is always going to be sweet. It’s got more vitamins and minerals than plain white sugar. Honey has vitamins, minerals and anti-microbial properties, whereas plain white sugar does not.