Best Honey to Buy in 2022
Honey is one of nature’s finest gifts. How do you determine the best honey in the world, or even the best honey in the USA? Honey competitions across the globe are judged by professional honey sommeliers who apply varied standards for excellence to determine the best honey in the world. The same process is seen in events that seek to identify the best honey in America. For those of us unfamiliar with the expert opinions and judging standards, personal preference is our barometer for what is the best honey in the USA and beyond.
You may want to start your hunt for the world’s best honey with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). They have a grading system for honey that assigns points for three factors. A honey is awarded up to 50 points for flavor and aroma, up to 40 points for absence of defects and up to 10 points for clarity. Points of 80 or more earn a Grade A, 80-89 points Grade B, 70-79 points Grade C. Anything less than 70 points is considered substandard. The USDA doesn’t have the last word on the best honey in America, however. You do.
Before you simply scoop up the first container of raw honey on sale at your supermarket, learn about some of the special varieties of the best types of honey available for sale. Deciding the best type of honey to buy takes a little bit of research given how many honey brands are out there.
Acacia honey comes from bees collecting nectar and pollen from the black locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia), which is native to eastern and southeastern North America. Black locust trees are now found throughout North America and Europe. Like all flowering plants, the nectar flow from an acacia tree is heavily influenced by weather conditions. A tree may produce abundant nectar once every few years with a blossom period of about ten days. The clarity and rarity of acacia honey makes it one of the best honey types in the world and also one of the more expensive honey varieties available.
The popularity of acacia honey is also related to its nutrient value and ability to crystallize slowly because it is high in fructose. Acacia honey contains many vital antioxidants that contribute to reported health benefits. Flavonoids are the main type of antioxidant found in acacia honey. A diet high in flavonoids may reduce your risk of chronic conditions including heart disease. Acacia honey is also rich in beta-carotene, magnesium and Vitamin C.
Acacia honey has a very light color and mild flavor. It has a neutral floral aroma and a muted taste that makes it a perfect natural sweetener. Acacia honey can be used in the same way as other honey, stirred into beverages or used in baking.
Orange Blossom Honey
Honey from orange fruit trees (Citrus sinensis) is sweet and mild with a beautiful light color. Good quality orange blossom honey comes from healthy trees and that is why you want orange blossom honey harvested from the abundant orange groves of Central Florida. These orange groves thrive in the Sunshine State’s humid and tropical climate, and often include other citrus trees such as tangerine, mandarin, and grapefruit, each of which also produce a sweet nectar collected by honeybees. Beekeepers insert empty honey frames just before orange trees begin to bloom to ensure a high quality orange blossom honey. The result is a magnificent honey you can add to tea, drizzle over your yogurt, or use in baking.
There are many ways to use orange blossom honey as a natural remedy or immunity builder. Orange blossom honey is an effective cough suppressant and has natural antiseptic properties that can treat topical wounds such as scrapes or minor burns. Orange blossom honey contains many unique antioxidants including hesperetin and galangin, which are specifically known to combat free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic illness.
Orange blossom honey has a lively sweetness followed by hints of citrus flavor Among the various monofloral honey types on the market, orange blossom honey is quite affordable. You will want to choose raw and unfiltered orange blossom honey for the best flavor and greatest health benefits.
Manuka honey is a type of honey made by bees that visit the Manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium) in New Zealand. It is a rare honey produced for only a few weeks annually when the Manuka bush is flowering, resulting in a limited resource and higher price. With raw Manuka honey, the nutritional content is up to four times that of normal flower honeys. The bees that pollinate from the Manuka bush produce honey more potent than standard honey because of a compound called methylglyoxal (MGO).
MGO has strong antiviral and antibiotic properties. Its benefits may include a boost in digestion, skin health, sleep and immunity. Natural health experts have used raw Manuka honey in topical applications to treat minor burns and wounds. It may also help prevent gingivitis and other periodontal disease.
Typical of darker honeys, raw Manuka honey has a rich, umami flavor and is naturally sweet. Manuka is considered one of the best honey types in the world. Raw Manuka honey is available in concentrations appropriate for medicinal purposes as well as flavoring. With proper storage, Manuka honey can last almost indefinitely. Keep your Manuka stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and humidity.
Tupelo honey is considered a best honey to buy due to its rarity and unique qualities. This honey is produced when bees collect nectar and pollen from the White Tupelo gum tree (Nyssa ogeche) during a brief flowering season from mid April to early May. White Tupelo flowers are delicate and easily knocked off branches by heavy rainfall or high winds. These trees are found in just a few areas of southern Georgia and northwest Florida.
Harvesting and extracting Tupelo honey is not easy. At the start of the season, beekeepers must start with clean and empty honeycomb frames to prevent the inclusion of other flower nectar. To maintain purity, beekeepers must harvest the raw honey right after Tupelo flowers begin naturally falling off the branches. This labor-intensive production, combined with a short flowering period, yields Tupelo honey with an amazing flavor and with a premium price tag.
Tupelo honey is a light amber in color with a surprising and delicious taste. It is described as a bright burst of fruity and floral flavor, with a soft, buttery finish. For some, the flavor is so mesmerizing that Tupelo is the only honey they buy. It’s a great addition to barbecue, cheese, cake or ice cream. This raw honey is also unique in that it resists crystallization and stays liquid for years, even if stored at room temperature. Tupelo honey is high in fructose and the best honey to buy as an alternative sweetener if you have diabetes. Tupelo shares the same healthy properties of other honeys including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
Wildflower honey is produced when bees visit and pollinate a wide variety of flowers and blossoms. By definition, wildflowers are grown without deliberate cultivation. Because beekeepers don’t plant fields of wildflowers, there is little uniformity to the composition of wildflower honey. Wildflower honey is referred to as poly floral, as it results from many sources of nectar.
Even with its variety of sources, wildflower honey has many health benefits. Raw wildflower honey offers immune system boosting antioxidants and micronutrients like most forms of honey. Eating wildflower honey during allergy season can reduce symptoms such as watery eyes and runny nose. Honey has been shown to be just as effective at cough suppression as those offered by over-the-counter medication. Wildflower honey, a natural humectant, retains moisture and calms irritated skin.
Wildflower honey varies greatly in color and flavor vary greatly depending on the wildflowers involved in its production. Quality wildflower honey will have a bold flavor and dark color. Wildflower honey is good at breakfast mixed in coffee or warm oatmeal.
Honey alone is a sweet treat that also has several health benefits. But add in some herbs and spices and your honey becomes even tastier or more potent for healing. Infused honey, referred to as flavored honey in cooking applications, has a wide range of uses in cuisine and medicine.
Infusing honey with medicinal herbs results can result in a powerful combination. Herbal honey is relatively easy to make and has a long shelf life. Examples of medicinal herbs used in infused honey are chamomile, arnica, lavender and thyme.
Infused honey flavored with spices are a unique and delicious way to up your cooking game. Cinnamon orange honey tastes great on pancakes or waffles. Slathering your pork chops in a chili infused honey will bring a smile to your dinner guests. Top your ice cream with dark chocolate infused honey.
It definitely matters where you buy your honey. Going to into your local retail store, you’ll see many different honey jars from a variety of companies. A search online returns hundreds of honey brands. While there are many honey brands available, there is only one Smiley Honey brand. That’s right, one of the world’s best honey brands is right here in the United States. Smiley Honey has been producing quality raw and unfiltered honey for over thirty years. Leading in the world of honey brands, our honey is special because we preserve its magical qualities through minimal processing. Customers have told us we are the best honey brand in the world not only because of our quality, but because our honey is healthy, tasty and visibly premium. As one customer said: “There may be better honey than you Tupelo somewhere on this earth, but we’ve never found it.”
The best type of honey is the kind you buy and enjoy. Open nature’s gift of honey and enjoy all the flavor and health benefits Smiley Honey has to offer you. Browse our incredible varieties of raw honey and honey wellness products. You won’t be disappointed with the best of honey brands.