Honey isn’t just a naturally delicious sweetener that you drizzle on everything from tea to toast — it’s essential to the survival of the human race. Even if you dread them buzzing around your face, we wouldn’t exist without these insects or the honey they produce.
Honey is far from a one-dimensional ingredient — there are hundreds of kinds of different flavors and textures of honey to choose from. That’s because its taste all depends on the source of the nectar and species of flower that the bees drink from. The differences are sophisticated and filled with nuance, not unlike wine.
Just try to search only for unprocessed options without any preservatives or additives. While these kinds of honey may crystallize more easily, they’re much better for you — to solve this, run warm water over the bottle before pouring.
Bees are responsible for more foods than just honey. Through pollinating fruits, nuts, and other ingredients, they keep our global food supply going. Without this essential member of the ecosystem, both these crops and the human race would no longer exist. Unfortunately, due to climate change, the bee population is dwindling. To do your part, you can plant pesticide-free flowers in local gardens and your backyard.
This gift from the bees also happens to be a superfood — it’s rich in antioxidants, can speed up the healing of wounds, and even has the potential to lower cholesterol.
Whether you’re topping up an appetizer spread, engineering the ultimate salad dressing, or baking it into a dessert, these are the 10 best and purest types of honey that will have your taste buds thanking you.
1. Nature Nate’s 100% Pure, Raw & Unfiltered Honey
For pure and unfiltered raw honey with an award-winning taste, look no further than Nature Nate’s. Multiple reviewers call it the best honey they’ve ever tasted, and others use it topically to speed up healing processes. One even uses it for facials, saying it quickly replaced their expensive acne-fighting Korean skincare regimen. Nate’s honey compliments tea and other ingredients without overwhelming them, but can also be eaten on its own in a spoonful, as plenty of buyers have.
2. Bee Harmony Brazilian American Raw Clover Honey
BEST RUNNER UP
Bee Harmony sells several flavors of honey, but none quite compare to the natural flavor of clover honey. Bee Harmony sources their honey responsibly and packages it in a reusable glass jar. On your first taste, you’ll experience a decadently smooth and silky texture with a balanced flavor. On its own, it has a pure and clean flavor that’s not too overpowering. As one buyer suggest, “Use Bee Harmony honey in tea, drizzled over fresh fruit, pancakes and waffles or smeared on toast.”
3. Savannah Bee Company Raw Lavender Honey
You’re not a true foodie until you’ve tried lavender-infused honey. This complex creation works well with any other food and is a fast way to impress guests at a dinner party. It also makes for a thoughtful gift. The wild lavender is sourced from mountains in Southern Spain, giving way to a subtly fruity and floral flavor profile. Substitute it for sugar in your drinks or baking recipes to add a delicious nuance.
4. Urbani Truffle Honey
We’ve discovered the ultimate fancy condiment in this Urbani truffle honey, which is available in both white and black truffle varieties. The sweetness of this honey blends with the multilayered umami of truffle, making for an unforgettable taste. Trouble choosing which kind to go with? White truffle is stronger with heavy notes of garlic, while black truffle is milder with earthy undertones. Better stock up, because you’re going to be drizzling this on everything that goes in your mouth.
5. Bushwick Kitchen Salted Honey
BEST FOR SAVORY FOOD LOVERS
Sweet and savory lovers will go crazy over this versatile salted honey from Bushwick Kitchen, which blends naturally fragrant wildflower honey with a gentle touch of sea salt brine — think sea salted chocolate, but way better. Try it in a bowl of oatmeal, spread on sourdough with butter, or as a replacement for a jam in a PB&J. A reviewer says, “The salt is just enough to bring out a savory quality in the honey while not disrupting the sweetness.”
6. Mike’s Hot Honey
BEST SPICY PICK
Mike’s Hot Honey has earned a cult-like fanbase thanks to its tasty formula with chilies and vinegar that has just the right amount of kick. Some people drizzle it on their pizza, while others find that it pairs well with wings or even cocktails. Contrary to what many people think before trying Mike’s, the spice doesn’t overwhelm your dish. In fact, you can use it in pretty much anything that you would normally use honey in. The brand does offer extra hot honey as well if your spice tolerance is higher.
7. Smiley Honey Raw Tupelo Honey
Tupelo is one of the rarest kinds of honey in the world since it’s only produced in Okeefenokee Wildlife Refuge on the Georgia-Florida line and the Apalachicola River basin. Its flavor is a delicate balance of sweet, buttery, flowery. This offering from Smiley Honey is described by reviewers as a “refined but bright floral burst that quickly recedes to leave faint fruity notes on the tongue altogether with the more traditional flavors of raw and unfiltered honey.”
8. Thomas Hübbe and Larissa Leitner Brazilian Honey Sampler
Can’t decide what honey you want to go with? This exotic Brazilian sampler lets you experiment with four distinctly different floral aromas and flavors including acacia, pink pepper, quince and wildflower. Brazilian bees get to drink up the country’s most potent nectar from rainforests and beyond, resulting in a top-notch tasting experience that ranges from notes of marshmallows to tropical fruit influences. Don’t worry about the jars tasting too similar — buyers confirm that each honey maintains its own unique flavor.
9. Red Bee Honey Raw Wildflower Honeycomb
BEST HONEYCOMB PICK
If liquid honey is too syrupy for your liking, consider purchasing raw honeycomb instead, which offers a rustic and more natural experience. This one is chockfull of Georgia honey and hasn’t been exposed to human touch or oxygen. Cut off a bit and pair it with cheese or toast, if you’d like, but you can also eat it on its own as a luscious dessert. It can be enjoyed with the wax, or you can use a knife to extract just the honey.
10. Kiva Raw Manuka Honey
BEST MEDICINAL PICK
While regular honey has plenty of healing properties, Manuka honey is a naturally anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory formula that can be ingested and applied topically to deal with a range of issues, from skin and gastrointestinal problems to a low immune system. Kiva’s Manuka honey comes from the pristine forest of New Zealand, with one reviewer referring to it as a “potent pot of gold.” While it’s not the most affordable honey on this list, it’s a top-grade investment in quality over quantity.
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