9 Types of Honey (and Where to Get Them)
Your recipe calls for "honey," but there are many types of honey—and each one has a unique flavor, texture and aroma.
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If you’ve spent time browsing the stalls at the farmers market, you may already know that there are several types of honey. In fact, there are over 300 varieties! Many factors affect the honey’s flavor and color, but the major difference between each type revolves around the flower. That’s why honey is usually named after this nectar source.
Most pasteurized honey tastes the same, so look for raw, unfiltered honey. It’s the best way to experience its true flavor and health benefits, and it also keeps you from accidentally buying fake honey.
Good for: Tea, baking or slathering on biscuits
Where to buy: Bee Harmony
Acacia honey is an all-purpose honey with a very mild but sweet flavor. It’s not actually made from the acacia flower. Instead, the nectar comes from a “false acacia tree,” also known as the black locust. It’s one of the clearest, lightest-colored types of honey available, and it’s unlikely to crystallize in the jar because of its high fructose content.
Good for: Baking or marinades
Where to buy: Asheville Bee Charmer
Buckwheat honey is strong and dark, with a molasses-like color and texture. Its bold flavor makes it best suited for baking instead of raw uses, but it’s also powerful enough to hold up to flavorful meats in marinades. It contains more antioxidants than lighter-colored honey, so it’s a great choice for treating sore throats.
Good for: Baking, marinades, salad dressings, or drizzling on oatmeal
Where to buy: Bloom Honey
Clover honey is one of the most popular varieties found in the United States. It has a very floral aroma with a light, sweet flavor that make it a good all-purpose honey. Some clover honey is labeled as creamed clover, which has been crystallized into a creamy mixture with a spreadable consistency.
Good for: Tea or medicinal uses
Where to buy: Honeycube
This honey originated in Australia, although today it’s also made in California. The eucalyptus flowers lend a distinctly medicinal vibe with an herbal aroma and menthol flavor. It’s a good variety to use when taking advantage of the health benefits of honey.
Good for: Baking, marinades and grilling recipes
Where to buy: Anna’s Honey
Fireweed honey comes from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, where bees feed on the perennial herb that’s native to these areas. The resulting honey is light-colored with a complex, buttery flavor. It’s perfect for standing up to the bold flavors of the grill.
Good for: Tea, drizzling on pancakes, slathering on biscuits
Where to buy: Smiley Honey
This light, mild honey has a distinctive citrusy flavor and aroma. It originated in Spain and Mexico, but today it’s often made in the citrus belt—Florida, Texas and California. It’s a great finishing honey for breads and pastries, but be sure to look for raw, unfiltered honey when buying orange blossom. Many brands add artificial flavors, which can be identified easily if the honey smells perfumed.
Good for: Tea, baking or serving with bread and pastries
Where to buy: Honey Pacifica
Sage honey is light-colored, but it has a heavier body than other light honey varieties. It’s mild but sweet, making it a good all-around honey. Sage honey is slow to crystallize, so it’s often blended with other types off honey to slow the process.
Good for: Tea, serving on biscuits or drizzling over ice cream
Tupelo honey is sweeter than most honey, with a pleasant buttery flavor, a smooth texture and a faint green glow. It’s a rare variety, as it’s only harvested in Southeastern U.S. swamps once a year. It tends to be more expensive than most honey, so enjoy it in applications where its flavor can really be appreciated.
Good for: Tea, baking or marinades
Where to buy: Beekeeper’s Naturals
This honey is made from the nectar of several different flower varieties. It can be mild or extremely bold, depending on the flower blend, so give it a taste before serving it raw with pastries or bread. Consuming local wildflower honey may be a good way to fight seasonal allergies triggered by pollen.