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 refer to? Is it something specific or just some made up term like “natural” that doesn’t mean anything? 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.
December 9th, 2011: Here are some informed responses to this post (much more informed than me anyway), all from Honey Bee Suite: Honey so bland it’s boring; Pasteurizing honey… whatever for?. And if you like that, you might also find this interesting: So is it honey or not?