Many of us expect honey to look a certain way: smooth, pure, golden — maybe with a dark brown hue.
If you see clumps of light-colored or white crystals in a jar of honey, you might think something is wrong with the batch.
On the contrary, crystallization (also known as granulation) is a sign that the honey is raw and high-quality. Honey has an abundance of glucose, a sugar that naturally separates from other ingredients and can form into crystals of various sizes, shapes, textures, colors and densities.
Bee Raw Founder Zeke Freeman claimed in a blog post that honey crystallization preserves flavor. Some honey consumers prefer this state, Freeman wrote, because it is easier to spread on bread and toast.
The speed of this crystallization process can vary depending on the type of honey, according to Honeypedia. Acacia honey, for example, usually takes longer to granulate than clover honey because the latter has more glucose.
Storage temperature is a factor as well. Heat accelerates crystallization, while the cold may delay the process.
This factor is where you can control the product a bit. If you want more crystals in your honey, keep it out longer and at room temperature, perhaps on a windowsill that receives sunlight. To reduce the chance of crystallization, consume the honey within the first few months of purchasing and store it in the coolest part of your home.
Don’t put it in the fridge, though! That environment is too cold and could spoil the honey.
If you want to completely avoid crystals and wouldn’t mind a potential decrease in quality, buy a processed brand of honey or a product with alternative ingredients such as stevia. These goods are normally cheaper than pure, natural honey.
For those who won’t settle for anything less than real honey, check out our brand. If those sweet sugar crystals form, savor them as a part of nature’s bounty, a gift from bees that are struggling to survive.
Public Tip: There are ways to check if your honey is pure. Feel free to test ours by pouring a bit of it in a bowl, adding water and swirling until you notice a honeycomb pattern form.
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