How to Choose the Right Honey for Your Recipe

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Honey and Flowers. © 2015 Rambynas/Getty Images, licensed to About.com, Inc.

There are as many flavors of honey as there are flowers, since the flavor of the honey is directly influenced by the type of nectar gathered by the bees from various floral sources. Flavors can range from mild to aromatic, spicy, fragrant or medicinal and are often combined to create gourmet flavors for the discriminating palate.

Honey Colors

Color is usually an indication of flavor concentration. Colors can range from near-white through yellow, yellow-green, gold, amber, dark brown or red to even nearly black.

Usually, a lighter color will indicate a milder flavor, while darker honey is customarily more robust and contains more minerals. Texture can also vary from thin to heavy.

Honey Textures and Honey Products

There are also various forms of honey, including liquid, comb, cut comb, solid (granulated or crystallized), and chunk.

  • Liquid honey, the most widely used, is extracted from the combs by a centrifugal method and is usually filtered to remove all remnants of the comb and/or pollen.
  • Granulated or "sugared" honey is partially or wholly solidified honey crystals.
  • Creamed honey adds finely crystallized honey to liquid honey and has a smooth texture.
  • Comb honey includes the honey and comb as stored by the bees and can be served as is or cut into chunks.
  • Cut-comb is small chunks of sealed comb honey which is normally sold in pieces about four inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide, wrapped in cellophane.
  • Chunk honey is pieces of comb honey placed into containers and covered with liquid honey.

More About Honey