by Tess Pennington, The Sleuth Journal:
Raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized honey has been a pantry staple for centuries. In the far stretches of human history, honey was stored for food, making wine and used for medicinal purposes. Theystored raw, unfiltered honey in porous, sealed jars and stacked them in cold caves. In fact, recently, scientists examined five-millennia-plus-old jars of honey unearthed in Georgia and declared that the artifacts contain the world’s oldest honey. This only proves that honey can stand the test of time – but there is no guarantee it will. If improperly stored, honey can crystallize or ferment. This article will explain the what, when and why’s of how to perfectly store your honey for long-term use, as well as explain what mistakes to avoid.
There are more than 300 different types of honey in the United States, each with a unique flavor and color depending on the blossoms visited by the honey bees. In fact, the coloring of honey is largely dependent on which flower pollen it collects. For instance, honey is a darker color when nectar is collected from blossoms of avocado and buckwheat, while nectar collected from blueberries, alfalfa, clover and sage are lighter in color. In general, the lighter the color of honey, the milder the flavor.
Where to Find Bulk Honey
Buying honey at the store can be expensive, especially in bulk quantities. For years, my husband and I were purchasing five pound containers of honey for over $20, when we could have purchased it for much cheaper from local distributors. I was lucky to find a local honey supplier in my area that sells us 20 pounds of honey at a time for a better deal. This is enough for a year supply of honey for my family. We usually end up purchasing one to use for the year and another for long-term storage. As well, farmers markets are great for finding local produce, meat and honey. I have also found locals selling honey through Craigslist. If you plan on purchasing honey from a local supplier, make sure they can answer these questions: