Sage, linden, lavender: Where does honey get its flavours from?
When people try to imagine the taste of honey, some of them have in mind the type of monotonous sweetness that comes from a squeezy bottle: and by that, we mean the flavoured syrup that has been over-processed to the point of reducing all flavour into a flat, sugary substance.
Real honey, however, comes in a whole range of flavours that tantalise the taste buds and leave you craving more.
A drop of natural, raw honey contains a world of taste and texture, and it varies wildly, depending on where it’s from. Colour, texture, viscosity, taste, smell, and even how quickly it crystallises - everything can vary from jar to jar, depending on flower type and even geographical location. Rich soil produces superior plants - and flowers - which is why Moldovan honey, made with lush flowers growing out of Moldova’s highly fertile soil, is so prized.
From the woodsy notes of linden honey and the classic purity of acacia, all the way to the spicy punchiness of buckwheat, you can almost taste the sun-warmed flowers that lend their scent and flavour to your jar of honey: and with a wealth of exotic flavours available, it’s no wonder global honey consumption is on the rise.
But how does honey get its flavour? Here, we dissect the delicious science behind honey flavouring.
Honey bees make honey from nectar, a sweet fluid produced by flowers in order to attract insects for pollination purposes. Our hardworking bee friends fly up to 5km from their hives in order to gather nectar, pollen, water, and propolis, also known as bee glue (which they use to seal cracks and varnish walls in their hives)!
It’s difficult work: a single bee can visit more than 600 flowers a day, and it takes about a million flowers to produce a single pound of honey.
Most honeys, like My Naturi’s polifloral honey, are a blend of honeys from different hives or the product of nectar from many varieties of flowers. But there are also honeys that we call “univarietal” - or monofloral - honey, like our lavender or linden honeys, that have a single distinctive flavour.
To get univarietal honey, beekeepers place their hives in the midst of areas where, within that 5km radius, there is a high concentration of one type of flowering plant, like a lavender field.
The percentage of flower pollen needed to create a distinctive taste differs from honey to honey: acacia honey, for instance, needs at least 15% of its pollen to come from the acacia flower, while other honeys may require higher percentages.
In order to meet these regulations, beekeepers carefully place their hives where their flowers of choice have already bloomed, so the bees don't end up snacking on other blooms instead.
Natural, raw honey doesn’t have any additives, so what you taste in your jar of My Naturi honey is 100% from flower nectar, with no additional flavourings added. Choose from our range of all-natural honey here!