Taste the magic of single-flower honey and enjoy the fragrance of summer all year long.
Single-flower honeys are at the very top of my favorite honey list.
The proper name for honey that comes from one type of flower is called “mono-floral” honey. It comes from a single flower source such as only clover blossoms, or only orange blossoms, etc. It all just depends on what kind of flowers the bees were released in. Beekeepers of mono-floral honeybees have very strict guidelines that they follow in order to assure a true one-note flavor.
Fireweed honey was my first experience tasting honey from a single flower source - the fireweed blossom. Since then I’ve been totally hooked. I thought it would be fun to compare a few other well-known mono-floral flavors out there.
For a true taste comparison I ordered a 3oz sample size jar each of: Acacia, Lavender, Orange Blossom, Tupelo, and Saw Palmetto Honey from the Savannah Bee Company. They carry an amazing selection of honey from all over the world as well as honey from their own bees and hives. Check them out when you get a chance.
When the honey arrived, I couldn’t wait to open the first jar! Here are my delicious findings in alphabetical order:
This Acacia honey sample is a super clear, lightly colored honey from Hungary. It has a clean, delicate flavor and is one of the lightest tasting honeys in the world. It's so light in fact, that I eat this one straight from the jar. Due to its natural sugar profile it resists crystallization and can last on the shelf for a long time.
Acacia honey is made from the blossoms of the Acacia trees which are harvested from the Ukraine to Northern Italy.
There are different lavender honeys. Most people think that it is going to taste like lavender. While there are flavored honeys using lavender extracts, the actual honey made from the lavender blossoms doesn’t really taste like the fragrance of lavender blossoms. It has a medium sweetness but more of a straight-up honey flavor.
The lavender for this particular sample of honey grows wild on the border between Spain and Portugal.
Orange Blossom Honey
With “Orange” in the name, my mind was expecting the flavor of oranges. The word “Blossom” had somehow escaped my attention so when I opened the jar I was pleasantly surprised by the fragrance of orange blossoms! Then I tasted it... mmm, it tastes just like it smells. If you've ever walked through an orange orchard when it's in full bloom, that scent is what this honey tastes like.
To me, the flavor is more intense than the other four honeys in this article and sweeter as well. I can taste its fragrance after it has been stirred into my black tea! I think this is my new favorite. Of course I used all of this little jar up so quickly that I had to order a much larger bottle asap - LOL!
It comes as no surprise that the bees for this honey are released in the many orange orchards of central Florida.
For years I had heard about Tupelo honey but never tried it until this jar arrived. Wow! This is an elegant honey, no wonder it’s so famous! It has the very distinctive flavor of the tupelo blossom - gorgeous on the tastebuds!
Tupelo honey is lighter in flavor than Orange Blossom honey. Being lighter (more of a white fragrance) it takes twice as much in my black tea in order to taste the flowers. I suppose I should try it in a more delicate tea like chamomile, but instead I decided to eat this one straight out of the jar so as not to cheat myself out of one single flower – very decadent!
A cool trait of Tupelo honey is that when properly stored, it can last for years on the shelf without crystalizing. This is due to its unusually high fructose to glucose ratio which dramatically slows the rate of crystallization. However I can’t imagine having it around that long without eating it all!
This is a rare honey that comes from two small regions in the Southeastern United States. One is on the Georgia-Florida border in the Okeefenokee Wildlife Refuge. The other region is in the Apalachicola River basin on the Gulf side of Florida called the Southern Cypress Swamp. These two places are where large groups of White Gum Tupelo trees grow.
Saw Palmetto Honey
Saw Palmetto is a darker and stronger flavored honey than the others. It has a faintly citrus yet woody taste to it and is very delicious! Being a darker honey it is recommended with saltier, hard cheeses as well as cured meats.
Saw Palmetto honey is reported to have high contents of antioxidants, phytonutrients, enzymes, acids and is good for the digestive and immune systems. There are those who say that its antimicrobial benefits are equal to those of Manuka Honey from New Zealand.
Saw Palmettos are short palm trees with crowns of fan-shaped leaves. They are grown from South Carolina to Florida.
So, those are five mono-floral honeys you really need to try.
There are more out there but these are a great group to start with. Experiment with last summer's mono-floral honeys and taste the flavor of sunshine all year long!
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