Honey is a bright, delicious addition to any good family pantry. It has a huge variety of sweetening uses, including in honey candy, teas and drinks, baked goods and even in seasoned meat. Although long lauded for its versatility and taste, there are a few funny stories that surround its legendary flavor. Here’s some buzz you may have heard about honey:
- Honey Never Spoils
This is a partial myth. Any regular or organic honey that is not stored properly will lose flavor, aroma, and could, of course, be subjected to ants and other invaders from the outside environment. However, if left in a well-sealed container, honey will be edible for literally thousands of years. Close the lid of your honey bears tight, and they should be fine!
- Crystalized and Foamy Honey has Gone Bad
As mentioned above, well-stored honey will last you a lifetime. Differences you may notice in the color or texture of the honey are perfectly natural. White foam at the honey’s surface is produced when air bubbles move slowly through the thick material when you stand honey bears or bottles upright after pouring. After about three months, honey also tends to crystallize in the bottle. If this happens, don’t throw the honey away! The sugars in the substance have simply separated from the water. Put your honey bears or honey jars in a pot of warm water and the crystallized goop will liquefy in no time.
- All Bees Produce Honey
This is another common myth. You may see a humming, yellow-and-black striped insect and think two things immediately: run! and yum! However, just as not all bee-like insects sting, not all of these bugs produce honey. The average honey bee will produce only one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime, but most other species will produce zero. Of the 20,000 species of bee in the world, only about five percent make the delicious treat we love so much.
- Honey Will Ruin Metal
This last myth is also partially true. Raw honey is indeed acidic, and over long periods of time can begin to corrode metal. Don’t worry about using your spoons to scoop, stir, or spread honey. The only way honey could begin to destroy the metal’s properties would be after a period of long exposure. As long as you don’t leave the spoon in the honey pot, you’re safe!
Honey is truly a fascinating food with properties that make myths almost believable. Stay informed, and don’t throw your honey out unnecessarily so you can enjoy it for eons to come!