One thing you’ll find in abundance on the shelves at Markets at Shrewsbury is honey. Our vendors stock a seemingly-endless supply of different types of honey, featuring unique flavors and an array of colors. If you want to add more honey to your diet (it has a lot of great health benefits) or want to explore some new flavors, here’s our advice for choosing the best tasting honey varieties.
What Do the Honey Flavors Mean?
One common misconception people have about honey revolves around their flavors. Many people tend to think that honey varieties like avocado, blueberry or lavender actually taste like the flavor their name implies. But that’s not true, these honey varieties represent what plants the nectar was pulled from, not what they taste like.
Specific varietal flavors, clover or orange blossom, for example, are produced by bees that draw nectar from fields dedicated to growing a singular plant. The flavor and color of a varietal honey are generally consistent from brand to brand and jar to jar.
On the other hand, wildflower honey is produced from bees that collect nectar in fields where many different kinds of wildflowers grow altogether. Because of the variety of plants that wildflower honey is drawn from, its colors and flavors are less consistent and can fall anywhere on the spectrum.
Honey Varieties By Flavor
With over 300 varieties of honey in the US, it may be hard to know where to start. Are you looking for something mild, sweet, or rich and flavorful? Use our chart below to help you decide which of the best tasting honey varieties offer the flavor you’re looking for.
Which Types of Honey Are Best For . . . ?
Honey can be used in so many ways. It can be a sweetener for a cup of tea, a key ingredient in many sauces and marinades, or a sugar substitute in baking. But with so many varieties to choose from, which is the best honey for each of these uses? Here are some honey pairings you may want to try.
Best Honey for Baked Goods
For a more natural and healthy product, many bakers are making the switch from sugar to honey in their baked goods. In this article, one baker shares her favorite types of honey to include in recipes. For baking, give these honey varieties a try :
- Orange Blossom
Tips on replacing sugar with honey:
- Go slowly. Start by using half sugar and half honey in your recipe to see how your recipe reacts.
- Cut the amount of sweetener in half when using honey. Instead of 1 cup of sugar, use 1/2 cup of honey.
- Since honey is a liquid, you may need to adjust the other liquid measurements in your recipe.
Best Honey for Tea
There are hundreds of varieties of honey and probably just as many tea varieties, so the pairings are limitless. Here are a few honey and tea combinations you might want to try:
- Avocado honey with Earl Grey tea
- Clover honey with lemon or mint tea
- Tupelo honey with Jasmine tea
- Eucalyptus honey with Irish Breakfast tea
- Blueberry honey with Earl Grey or English Breakfast teas
- Orange blossom honey with black teas
- Sage honey with orange spice, lemon, or mint teas
Best Honey for Sauces/Marinades
Honey is a basic ingredient found in many flavorful salad dressings, BBQ sauces, and marinades. Great flavor combinations for honey include garlic, ginger, lime, chili, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar. When whipping up your favorite sauces, choose one of these rich honey flavors:
Best Honey for Cheese
When entertaining, honey is a great addition to cheese boards. The sweetness of honey lightly drizzled over cheese is a delicious bite! Here are some suggestions for pairing honey and cheese for your next gathering:
- Buckwheat honey alongside aged, nutty cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano, cheddar, or Gruyère.
- Lavender and orange blossom honey pair with creamy cheeses like ricotta, goat, or feta.
- Acacia and sage honey with bold, spicy cheeses like blue, Roquefort, or gorgonzola.