Raw honey is gathered directly from the hive, with minimal filtering and no pasteurisation. Ordinary commercial honey is heat-processed, destroying many of honey's nutrients. Raw honey is usually labelled as such; if not, assume the honey is pasteurised.
The best raw honey comes from reputable, local bee farmers. Health food stores and other small retailers often sell raw honey or can give advice on where to find it locally. Allergists have long touted the ability of local, raw honey to help desensitise allergy sufferers from the effects of seasonal pollen sensitivities.
If you have difficulty finding a local honey bee farmer, raw honey may be purchased from online retailers. True honey connoisseurs will enjoy sampling the markedly different flavours of raw honey varieties from around the world.
Generally speaking, lighter-coloured honeys taste milder than darker varieties. Honey takes on the flavour of the plant from which the bees collected pollen for that particular batch. The lack of heat-processing retains these flavour nuances in raw honey, giving orange blossom honey the distinctive flavour and aroma of orange blossoms, and providing eucalyptus honey with a slight menthol aftertaste.
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