Look along the shelves of your grocer, supermarket or health food shop. The larger the store the more types of honey you will see. See just how wide is the range of honey that you can choose from. There will be blends of golden liquid honey ranging from plae yellow to deep rich amber, jellied, creamed or candied honey. You may even be able to buy honey in the comb — a favourite “sweet” for many as it has a good chewy quality. It’s tasty and it’s fun, and you can eat the wax, too.
Flavours and colour
All around Australia bees are busy visiting flowers to collect nectar and pollen. The flowers visited give honey its flavour and? colour. Should the honeybee visit a mixed patch of flowers, a special perfume left by the scout bee tells the workers to take the nectar from only one source so that honey in the hive is but one honey type.
Honeybees have an excellent sense of smell to distinguish between the different perfumes of the flowers and also have a “perfume dispenser” to tell other bees the types of flowers that have been chosen. The bee can also distinguish colours in the blue/green end of the spectrum – and has a time sense, too. There are more floral sources ideal for honey making in Australia than any other country – so we have the widest range of tastes and colours.
The best loved Australian honey flavours come from:
- Blue gum – light amber, choice forest honey from the south.
- Karri – amber honey from the forests of Western Australia.
- Leatherwood – unique honey from the west coast of Tasmania, quick to candy and extra light in colour.
- Lucerne – mild-tasting honey.
- Yellow box – pale and sweet honey from New South Wales, Victoria and Oueensland.
- Stringy bark – strong flavoured, medium amber honey from the Great Dividing Range.
- Ti-tree – very strong flavoured honey used mainly in manufacturing, from the north and south.
- White clover – extra white honey that candies smoothly.
When you know all the flavours, not only will you be able to use it to its best advantage, but you’ll be a honey connoisseur as well!