Posted on November 14, 2012
The honey we find in stores is light in color, liquid, and relatively easy to pour (or squirt out of a honey bear). It tastes generically sweet and is typically odorless. Raw honey on the other hand, tends to have a mild odor, can range from extremely dark (like in the picture – this is Raw Almond Honey) to light in color, and will quickly crystallize, becoming grainy and taking away the easy to pour consistency.
Many commercial honey companies heat honey in the attempt to delay the onset of crystallization (although it is inevitable, it just happens much quicker with raw honey), causing the honey to remain liquefied for better pouring and remain golden in color. (Color actually has nothing to do with the quality of the honey since the variety of honey colors come from the age of the hives and pollination sources). Unfortunately, when the honey is heated, subtle flavors are removed as well as many of the nutritional properties that come with raw honey.
One of the great attributes of honey is its infinite shelf live.
Honey never contains artificial ingredients due to its naturally antiseptic environment and will remain good in crystallized form for years to come. You can re-liquefy it by placing the honey in a bowl of warm to hot water for a few hours.
So next time you are at the grocery store, consider the dark, molasses-appearing granulated jar, and know that raw honey is the real deal.