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Natural honey, raw honey and pure honey are often confused with one another - we’ll be dealing this in a later blog as we compare the two, but right now let’s talk about pure honey, clear up any confusion before we tell you what it is and why our honey is pure.
What is pure honey?
In its simplest form, pure honey means nothing at all has been added to the honey. No sweeteners, oils or flavours.This doesn’t mean that it is tasteless. Honey gets its flavour from nature, from the pollen in the local flowers and plants that the bees forage on. This means you can get many types of pure honey; blossom, heather, manuka, bush etc. Each specific honey will be unique and will depend on the environment the flowers (and bees) have had to thrive in. A bit like wine, a blossom honey from New Zealand will taste entirely different from blossom in Scotland, and preference comes down to a matter of individual taste. Unlike what is known as raw honey, pure honey can be filtered to remove any nasties that shouldn’t be there; pollen, dead bees, dirt etc. To read more about Raw honey, check out our blog here
Why is pure honey so popular?
A bit like buzz words such as ‘raw’ and ‘natural’ there is a growing interest in eating food that has been untampered with. Any blend with other products dilutes this purity. Corn syrup for example has been artificially removed from its source, then processed and blended with the honey from the hives, meaning the sugars are often harder for the body to break down. Both heather and manuka honey have been discovered to have healing properties (check out our blog on the unique healing properties of our heather honey), and people don’t want this to be affected.
How do you know if your honey is pure?
Most pure honeys will say on the jar, but if not, there are several ways you can test if your honey is pure.
1. If a honey is left for a while in the cupboard (we’re talking weeks and months), the honey in opened jars or tubes may start to separate into different layers if it is not pure. This should not be confused with the naturally occurring crystallisation process that would be a sign of a good honey.
2. When put in water, pure honey tends to sink to the bottom of a glass, unlike ‘fake’ honey which might dissolve into the water.
3. Pure honey usually stays where it is and takes a while to drip down. Real honey actually isn’t as runny as people think; runny honeys usually have added ingredients such as rapeseed oil.
3. As mentioned in our blog on crystallisation in honey (a natural process within honey), our honey sometimes crystallises, and to return this to its regular ‘spreadable’ consistency it needs to be warmed. When warmed on a stove or cooker, honey that is not pure tends to bubble rather than melt.
Finally, did you know pure honey is flammable? If you want to test this for yourself, why not try dipping a match in honey? If it sets alight easily, it is most likely pure honey.