How to recognize good honey at a fair and in a shop?

Today, the assortment of honey with its diversity does not please buyers, but causes them bewilderment. After all, it is one thing - the traditional sorting of melliferous plants and, as a result, aroma and taste. And it is completely different when in front of you multi-colored honey, including poisonous yellow and bright raspberry, with exotic names: orange, eucalyptus, mango, and also prepared in a fashionable way, for example by whipping.
The question arises: after all these marketing manipulations, is there anything useful left in honey? Our expert tells about which counters with honey are better to bypass and how to taste honey correctly.

Irina Kharisova, Director of the Research Institute of Honey and Bee Products

- When choosing honey, be careful about exotic varieties. Remember that there are not so many melliferous plants from which marketable honey is obtained: linden, buckwheat, sunflower, acacia, chestnut, angelica and some others. An unnatural honey color - green or pink - indicates that it is honey with additives. Natural honey without additives should have a light pleasant aroma, characteristic of the given variety, without any foreign smell. Honey cannot have a fruit aroma. For example, raspberry honey shouldn't have a raspberry flavor.

Honey can be either liquid or crystallized. Crystallization (sugaring) for natural honey is a normal, natural process that does not deprive honey of its beneficial properties. There is a widespread belief that all natural honey should crystallize by winter. This statement is not always true. The rate of crystallization of honey depends on many factors: storage conditions, type of honey (on the ratio of sugars in it, the number of crystallization centers). For example, the more fructose honey is in, the slower it crystallizes.

Each type of honey has its own color: flower honey is light yellow, linden honey is amber, buckwheat honey is brown. Various shades are possible, but natural honey is always transparent (until it crystallizes). Take a close look at the product: notice any turbidity or sediment? Refuse to buy.


- Hold a small amount of honey in your mouth, slowly rubbing it with your tongue over the upper palate, - advises the expert Irina Kharisova. - The taste of natural honey should be sweet, pleasant, without any foreign aftertaste. Some varieties, such as chestnut or angelica, have a bitter taste.

An unpleasant sour taste indicates that the fermentation process has begun in the honey. A pronounced caramel flavor may indicate that the honey has been overheated. In the process of processing and packaging honey, it is allowed to heat it no higher than 40 ° C, at this temperature honey retains all its useful properties.


- The most common trick is botanical falsification of honey, when inexpensive varieties by blending, and in some cases adding dyes and flavors to them, are passed off as expensive, says Irina Kharisova. - Therefore, be wary of counters with a large number of exotic varieties of honey.
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