THE FOLLOWING HAS BEEN UPDATED SINCE ORIGINALLY POSTED.
I’m asking because I don’t know.
I’m in New Brunswick at the moment. I picked up a jar of honey at a grocery store this morning. The honey is from a local apiary. The label on the honey jar reads “Pure liquid Canadian honey — Canada No. 1 White.” And that means… what exactly? Is the honey pasteurized or heated? Is it ultra-filtered? What does “pure liquid honey” actually mean? Whatever it is, it tastes like melted plastic to me, at least when I compare it to the raw honey from our hives.
What is it that makes grocery store honey, even “pure liquid honey,” taste more like a bottle of Elmer’s Glue than honey? Does heating the honey, whether to pasteurize or clarify it, kill all the goodness in it? Or does large-scale blending of honey from various hives through a single extractor result in a homogenous honey, a honey with a consistent — but bland — flavour?
I don’t know. But I sure do like our honey.
UPDATE (Dec. 09/11): Here are some informed responses to this post (much more informed than me anyway): Honey so bland it’s boring; So, What is Honey, Really? – Part 2; Pasteurizing honey… whatever for?; So, What is Honey, Really? – Part 3. And if you like that, you might also find this interesting: So is it honey or not?