One of the best things about honey, aside from its amazing flavor, and its numerous health benefits, is that it is incredibly easy to pick up, even from your local grocery store.
This sweet nectar, which is tirelessly harvested and created by bees all year round, can come in numerous unique forms, and unique flavors, and this can help to make it even more exciting to try each and every one.
However, while exploring your options with honey, you’ve likely encountered the term ‘Raw honey’ at some point or another and found yourself wondering what exactly it means.
Luckily, you’ve come to the right place, because today we are going to find out exactly what raw honey is, as well as what it tastes like, and whether it has any additional benefits!
Dive in down below to get started!
What Is Honey?
In order to be sure of how raw honey differentiates itself from ordinary honey, it would be good to make sure we are clear on what exactly honey, in general, is!
Put simply, honey is a natural substance created by bees and stored in the beehive, where it thickens up to become the honey that we know and love.
Honey is created when bees gather up nectar from flowers and then deposit the honey that is formed in their honey sacs, into the hive.
The honey is then carefully managed by the bees, in order to thicken the honey up.
This is done by the bees flapping their wings to create the perfect air conditions to evaporate much of the water content in the honey.
What Does ‘Raw Honey’ Mean?
Now that we know how honey is made, we can begin to better understand what is meant by ‘Raw’ honey.
When honey is ‘Raw’, it simply means that the honey is still in its natural state. This means that the honey is either still in the honeycombs or has only very recently been extracted.
Ordinarily, if you were to purchase standard honey at the grocery store, you would not be purchasing raw honey, because the honey will have been pasteurized.
The pasteurization process of honey involves heating the honey up, and then rapidly cooling it down. This causes the honey to lose much of its nutrients and vitamins, but it does help to keep the honey from crystallizing at its normal rate.
Raw honey is simply honey that has not been through that pasteurizing process, despite likely having been filtered by beekeepers to remove small bits of debris and beeswax.
You would be able to identify raw honey from pasteurized honey because it has a cloudy appearance as a result of the faster rate of crystallization.
It is still very safe to eat, and even comes with a number of benefits that pasteurized honey may not!
What Does Raw Honey Taste Like?
Raw honey is actually much more likely to have a distinct and unique taste when compared to pasteurized honey.
Pasteurized honey has the iconic sweet flavor you would expect from honey, but it does not often have much more depth to its flavor.
Raw honey, on the other hand, offers a more complex array of subtle flavors that make the honey more interesting on the palate.
Raw honey can differ massively in terms of taste, depending on numerous factors, so it is difficult to say for sure what raw honey tastes like, but some varieties have much more savory flavors, while others may be sweeter.
Does Raw Honey Have Any Health Benefits?
Yes! As we mentioned earlier, the pasteurization process of honey naturally causes a lot of the nutrients and vitamins to be stripped away, which causes it to be less healthy.
Raw honey, on the other hand, is packed full of all sorts of helpful things, like antioxidants that help to promote a healthy immune system, while also helping to slow the aging process, and aid in brain function!
Raw honey also contains plenty of amino acids, which help to keep your body in tip-top shape, by aiding in muscle growth and helping to transport nutrients all across your body.
This is helpful considering the amount of useful nutrients that can be found in abundance in raw honey.
Raw honey has plenty of digestive enzymes packed in, and these are vital for assisting your digestion, to help you to break down the food and digest it more efficiently.
Eating raw honey not only helps you to enjoy a more interesting flavor experience, but it also helps you out with its numerous nutritional benefits!
Is Raw Honey Expensive?
Now that you’ve found yourself enticed by all of the many benefits of raw honey, you’re likely feeling ready to grab some for yourself.
However, you will want to be aware that raw honey naturally costs slightly more than pasteurized honey.
The reason for this is that extracting honey from the hives is very labor intensive, and honey is often subject to variations in availability, depending on the season.
During certain periods of the year, less raw honey may be produced, and this means that the price, throughout the year, is higher, to offset the occasional scarcity of honey.
To Wrap Up
There you have it!
Raw honey is simply honey that has not yet been passed through the pasteurization process and thus contains much of the original nutrients and vitamins that are found in such a product.
You can identify raw honey by its more cloudy appearance, a direct result of quicker crystallization.
Frequently Asked Questions
In order to tell if honey is raw, you can look at the packaging to see if it has not been ‘Pasteurized’, which would indicate that it is raw.
Manuka honey is a variety that does not go through a pasteurization process and thus can be considered raw.
Absolutely. Provided you eat raw honey in moderation, it can be very healthy as part of your everyday diet.