Archive for September, 2010

Floral Sources of Honey
Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Consumers and snack manufacturers love honey alike because of its flavor. But where does this flavor come from?

Honey’s characteristics, such as its color and flavor, are dependent on the bees’ nectar source. In the United States, there are more than 300 unique kinds of honey in the United States, originating from the diverse floral sources listed below.

Alfalfa: Alfalfa is a legume with blue flowers. It blooms throughout the summer and is ranked as the most important honey plant in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon and most of the western states. Alfalfa honey is white or extra light amber in color with a fine flavor. The honey also has good body, which makes it a perfect table honey.

Avocado: Avocado honey is gathered from California avocado blossoms. Avocado honey is dark in color, with a rich, buttery taste.

Basswood: This tree is distributed from Southern Canada, to Alabama, to Texas. Basswood honey is often characterized by its distinctive biting flavor. The flowers are cream-colored and they bloom in late June and July. The honey is water-white with a strong flavor.

Blueberry: Taken from the tiny white flowers of the blueberry bush, the nectar makes a honey, which is typically light amber in color and with a full, well-rounded flavor. Blueberry honey is produced in New England and in Michigan.

Buckwheat: Buckwheat plants grow best in cool, moist climates. The buckwheat plant prefers light and well-drained soils, although it can thrive in highly acid, low fertility soils as well. Buckwheat is usually planted in the spring. It blooms quite early and it yields a dark brown honey of strong, distinct flavor.

Clover: Clovers are the most popular honey plants in the United States. White clover, alsike clover, and the white and yellow sweet clover plants are the most important for honey production. Depending on location and source, Clover honey varies in color from water-white to extra light amber and has a mild, delicate flavor.

Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is one of the larger plant genera with over 500 distinct species and many hybrids. Eucalyptus honey varies greatly in color and flavor, but in general, it tends to be a bold-flavored honey with a slightly medicinal aftertaste.

Fireweed: Fireweed honey is light in color and comes from a perennial herb that affords wonderful bee pasture in the Northern and Pacific states and Canada. Fireweed grows in the open woods, reaching a height of three to five feet and spikes attractive pinkish flowers.

Orange Blossom: Orange Blossom honey is often a combination of citrus floral sources. Orange is a leading honey source in southern Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. Orange trees bloom in March and April and produce a white to extra light amber honey with a distinctive flavor and the aroma of orange blossoms.

Sage: Sage honey can come from different species of the plant. Sage shrubs usually grow along the California coast and in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Sage honey has a mild, delicate flavor. It is generally white or water-white in color.

Sourwood: Sourwood trees can be found in the Appalachian Mountains from Southern Pennsylvania to Northern Georgia. Sourwood honey has a sweet, spicy, anise aroma and flavor with a pleasant, lingering aftertaste.

Tulip Poplar: The tulip poplar is a tall tree with large greenish-yellow flowers. It generally blooms in the month of May. Tulip Poplar honey is produced from southern New England to southern Michigan and south to the Gulf states east of the Mississippi. The honey is dark amber in color, however, its flavor is not as strong as one would expect from a dark honey.

Tupelo: Tupelo honey is produced in the southeastern United States. Tupelo trees have clusters of greenish flowers, which later develop into soft, berrylike fruits. In southern Georgia and northwestern Florida, tupelo is a leading honey plant, producing tons of white or extra light amber honey in April and May. The honey has a mild, pleasant flavor and will not granulate.

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What is Honey?
Sunday, September 12th, 2010

Honey is a versatile ingredient used prominently in the snack food industry. The all-natural ingredient’s uses span from a sweet flavoring to counter a spicy flavor note in a salted snack to the main flavor provider in a sweet snack cake.

There are more than 300 different types of honey in the United States, each with a unique flavor and color profile Despite these many forms, honey’s essence is its natural simplicity and purity. Honey is primarily composed of fructose, glucose and water. It also contains other sugars as well as trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids.

Honey is not created or manufactured in a facility. It occurs naturally in one of the world’s most efficient factories: the beehive. Bees may travel as far as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just one pound of honey. All of the bees’ hard work is manifested in an amazing ingredient ideal for use in bakery food formulas.

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