A thick sweet liquid made by bees from flower nectar. Honey's color and flavor does not derive from the bee, but from the nectar source. In general the darker the color, the stronger the flavor. There are hundreds of different honeys, most named for the flower from which they originate. The flowers that produce the most popular honeys are clover, orange blossom and sage. Honey comes in three basic forms: (1) comb honey, with the liquid still in the chewy comb, both of which are edible; (2) chunk-style honey, which is honey with pieces of the comb included; and (3) liquid honey that has been extracted from the comb, and usually pasteurized to help prevent crystallization. It has a mild flavor, spreads like butter at ordinary room temperature, and unlike liquid honey, it doesn’t drip. Creamed honey is really crystallized or granulated honey, and well-made creamed honey has a creamy texture. When cooking with honey, it is important to know its source -- buckwheat honey, for example, has far too strong a flavor to be used in a recipe that calls for orange blossom honey, which has a light, delicate fragrance and flavor.

Season: available year-round

How to store: Store tightly sealed liquid honey in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year; store comb and chunk honey for 6 months. When refrigerated, honey crystallizes, becoming gooey and grainy. Honey can be reliquefied by microwaving for about 30 seconds at 100 percent power or in a pan of how water over low heat for 10-15 minutes.

Substitutions: 1 1/4 cup sugar + 1/4 cup water = 1 cup honey

Popular Honey Recipes