Mary H. Dyer | August 16, 2020
Did you know there are many different types of honey around the world? Some honey varieties are easy to find in any supermarket, but others are rare and highly prized. Here are 7 unusual and interesting varieties of honey you might want to give a try.
7 Different Types of Honey
- Tupelo – Tupelo honey, familiar to Van Morrison fans, is one of the world’s most famous varieties of honey. Tupelo honey is made by bees who visit tupelo trees, native to the remote wetlands of the deep South. The trees bloom for a short period of time and harvest generally lasts less than three weeks. Thus, the sweet buttery honey is difficult to obtain, making it very expensive.
- Heather – Heather honey is a dark amber or reddish orange honey that has been described as thick, intense, pungent, tangy, mildly sweet, and slightly bitter. Heather honey is made by bees that visit the heather plant, associated with the moors of the British Isles, Scotland in particular. This aromatic honey, frequently used in ales, whiskeys, and meads is difficult to obtain outside northern Europe.
- Sourwood – Sourwood honey is made by bees that visit sourwood trees, native to the mountainous regions of North and South Carolina and Tennessee. The trees, also known as sour gum, Appalachian lily, or sorrel, produce clusters of white, bell-shaped flowers in summer. The spicy aroma of sourwood honey is reminiscent of cinnamon and cloves, and the flavor has been compared to buttery caramel.
- Manuka – Manuka honey is highly prized for its medicinal and antibacterial properties and is said to relieve a variety of illnesses including skin infections, gastric ailments, colds, and sore throats. This thick, dark golden honey is collected from the manuka (tea tree) bush, a scrubby plant native to parts of New Zealand and Australia.
- Sidr – Sidr honey, among the world’s most expensive varieties of honey, is harvested twice a year from trees that grow wild in Yemen’s desert areas. This ancient honey is harvested by beekeepers who rely only on traditional techniques, with no chemicals or automated tools. The smooth, thick honey is touted for its medicinal qualities and rich, buttery flavor.
- Chestnut – Chestnut honey is known for its dark color and strong, earthy flavor, which varies depending on weather conditions, microclimates, and the type of bees. The honey, considered a delicacy, is harvested in spring from chestnut trees that grow in southern Europe’s moist, warm areas. It is favored by people who prefer a less sweet flavor.
- Meadowfoam – Meadowfoam honey provides an unusual flavor akin to vanilla and marshmallows. Although the honey is available across the country, it is mostly harvested in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where the meadowfoam tree is native. The plant is named for its white flowers, which look like ocean foam.