We all love honey, whether you’re adding it to your cereal, your tea or just eating it on its own. It is a sweet flavor that we all cherish. However, you’re probably not used to real raw honey that is extracted from honeycombs.
This honey is even more subtle, complex, flavorful, and healthy for you. However, it’s more expensive and harder to find too.
In this article, we’ll look at honeycomb: what it is, where you can find it, and how you can enjoy it for yourself.
What Does Honeycomb Look Like?
Just the word honeycomb brings up hexagons.
A honeycomb pattern is a series of interlocking hexagons, like those that bees build in their hives. The kind of honeycomb that you eat is a network of these hexagons made of beeswax filled with honey.
In practice, these look like chunks of golden, yellow, or orange wax that are dripping with raw honey. A single piece of honeycomb can include many different layers of hexagons.
What Texture Does Honeycomb Have?
The texture of the Honeycomb is one of its most appealing features.
Even if you’ve experienced the delicious flavor of raw honey, you likely haven’t had the chewy texture of honeycomb.
Some people don’t like this chewiness, but for others, this is a major part of the delicacy. The taste experience of mingling the rich and sweet flavors of the honey with the soft and chewy texture of the honeycomb is very unique.
Some people choose to chew up the honeycomb like gum before eventually spitting it out, while others eat the honeycomb itself.
Beeswax is 100% edible and safe and actually has its own nutritional value.
The experience of eating honeycomb wouldn’t be the same without the unique and interesting texture that is made from chewing on beeswax.
Are There Different Types Of Honeycomb?
All honeybees create the same kind of hive, which is made up of a honeycomb constructed from beeswax.
However, the types of honeycombs that you might find available for purchase will be different in a couple of different ways that are worth looking into.
First of all, most of the honeycomb that you can buy commercially has only been constructed once. The bees make the honeycomb and then fill it with honey, after which it’s harvested.
If you’re around a farm or you have access to a hive that has been active for a long time, you might notice that it looks a little bit different.
The honeycomb might even be darker in color, or even black. This is because bees continually reuse the same hive and the same honeycomb.
Hatching multiple generations of bees from the same comb over time, the cells get slightly smaller due to the accumulation of more beeswax and other products like royal nectar.
The additional buildup of these compounds is what makes the honeycomb darker, and gives dark honeycombs a deeper and richer flavor.
Additionally, different honeycombs will also have different flavors depending on where they’re located.
Bees create honey from pollen, and that pollen contributes to the flavor of the honey and the honeycomb.
The most popular forms of honeycomb are taken from bees that are surrounded by flowers. This type of honey has a floral scent and a sweet flavor.
Where Does Honeycomb Come From?
The honeycomb is essentially a beeswax framework inside the hive that bees build as a home for themselves and their colony.
Honeycomb is specifically intended to nurture the larvae of the bees so that they can grow on a diet of honey into either worker bees or queens.
It takes between seven days and two months for a colony of bees to construct a hive that includes a honeycomb. In the process of construction, they will add one to three pounds of honeycomb to the interior of their hive.
In nature, this hive will be used again and again to raise multiple generations of bees using honeycombs.
For cultivated bees, this could be used multiple times to produce multiple rounds of honey or it could be cut out and served as a delicacy to enjoy.
Is Honeycomb Healthy?
Although honey is mostly sugar, and doesn’t have a significant amount of protein or fat, it is still an extremely healthy ingredient.
Honey includes several important nutrients and vitamins. It is a great source of calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
You can also find substantial amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 in a piece of honeycomb.
You can use honeycomb to safely and healthily sweeten things, reducing the need for harmful refined sugars.
The benefits of using raw honey from honeycombs over, for example, processed white sugar are significant. This is especially true for people like diabetics who are trying to avoid rapid rises in blood sugar.
Although honeycomb is made up of mostly sugar, it doesn’t lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and is suitable for a diabetic diet.
Several studies have shown that regularly eating raw honey can lower your bad cholesterol and raise your good cholesterol, which is very important for your heart health.
Studies also show that raw honeycomb can protect your liver and support your immune health. Raw honey contains prebiotics that help to increase the helpful bacteria in your gut and improve your digestion.
Lastly, raw honey is a timeless cold remedy and can boost your immune system. Raw honey has already been shown to work just as well in alleviating the symptoms of a cold as an over-the-counter cough medication.
Raw honey is especially useful for coughs with scratchy throats. This is because honey contains humectant properties that attract and keep moisture, helping to soothe your throat and prevent it from drying out.
With a ton of vitamins and nutrients and other health benefits, it’s a great idea to replace some of the processed sugar or sweeteners in your life with raw honey or honeycomb to improve your health and diet.
What Are The Dangers Of Eating Honeycomb?
Honeycomb is generally safe and healthy for people to eat. However, there are some circumstances in which it might be unhealthy.
For one, raw honey isn’t filtered, preserved, or pasteurized to remove bacteria, so there is always a slight chance that there could be a contaminant in the honey. The most likely culprit is C botulinum, which can cause sickness and vomiting.
Although this is unlikely to be a major issue for most people, it could be particularly dangerous for pregnant women and children.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to avoid raw honey and other raw products for women who are pregnant and for children.
There’s also a slight risk of stomach obstructions from eating large amounts of honeycomb.
It’s difficult for your stomach to digest all of that beeswax, and if you fill your stomach with a lot of honeycombs, that’s a lot of beeswax to digest. It can end up making you feel sick.
If you’re allergic to bees, it might be a good idea to be very cautious with honeycomb because you could end up having an allergic reaction.
And lastly, of course, even though the form of sugar that is in honey, raw honey, and honeycomb is healthier than processed sugar, it is still sugar and you should moderate your intake.
How Do You Eat Honeycomb?
It’s very simple. Take a bite! You can eat honeycomb just the way that it is with your hands, with a spoon or a fork.
Moreover, you can add honeycomb to several different dishes to sweeten them. You can add a bit of honeycomb to your raw yogurt or a bowl of cereal. You can even add honeycomb to salads!
You don’t need to do any kind of special preparation to eat the honeycomb – your body will digest the beeswax fine. You can just break up the honeycomb into whatever you’re eating or pop it right in your mouth.
How Can I Store Honeycomb?
You might be interested to discover that edible honey has been discovered in 3000-year-old Egyptian tombs.
Honey doesn’t really have an expiration date, at least as long as it’s stored properly and not exposed to air. The best way to store honeycomb is very simple.
Put it in a sealed container and keep it at room temperature out of direct sunlight in your home.
Can You Freeze Honeycomb?
Yes, you can freeze honey for up to 12 months in the freezer.
However, you’re probably not doing a much better job than you would if you were just leaving it out on the countertop.
Honey doesn’t freeze. Technically, it gets very cold, but it doesn’t actually change state the way that water does. It just slows down and becomes gooier.
How Can I Find Honeycomb At The Grocery Store?
Unless you’re raising bees on your own land, it can be tricky to get your hands on fresh honeycomb. With that said, some companies sell it commercially in grocery stores. Your best bet is to look in the organic aisle or to go to a farmer’s market.
Honeycomb Nutritional Information
|per 1 tbsp (21g) pure bee honeycomb, according to eatthismuch.com|
Honeycomb Recipes: Quick Table
|Apple Cinnamon Honey Cake||147||55 minutes|
|Honeyed Figs In Pastry||340||30 minutes|
|Chocolate Honeycomb Cheesecake||335||5 hours 15 minutes|
Honeycomb isn’t usually used as an ingredient to make other dishes. But it is added as a sweetener or as a condiment.
Some uses for Honeycomb are as a sweetener in tea, coffee, smoothies, porridge, and more. You can use honeycomb to sweeten your drinks or meal without relying on processed white sugar. It’s much healthier.
You can spread honeycomb on toast or bread or crackers. Honeycomb also goes great with desserts. You can break it up and use it on ice cream, or add it to the top of your favorite muffins, cookies, or cakes.
With that said, here are some recipes that showcase honey flavors – even if they don’t include honeycomb as an ingredient.
Apples and honey are a match made in heaven and this cake deliciously showcases both of these flavors. This easy-to-make cake is perfect for a weeknight dessert, or a weekend treat.
Total Preparation Time: 55 minutes
This is the kind of appetizer that you want to serve at an extremely fancy dinner party. It’s really a showstopper that will turn heads. The flavor of sweet figs caramelized in honey is unforgettable.
Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes
This cake is made from the candy form of honeycomb rather than the real thing. But it is a delicious dessert that you don’t want to miss.
This baked cheesecake is rich and delicious and showcases a beautiful honey flavor that will leave your family, friends, and guests stunned.
Total Preparation Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Honeycomb Actually Taste Good?
Yes, honeycomb is a delicacy that you have to try for yourself. The flavors of raw honey are absolutely better than any kind of honey that you’ve ever tasted before.
Most honey is made from a mix of actual honey and processed chemicals and sweeteners. This leads to a generic flavor that doesn’t have the kind of depth and subtlety that raw honey has.
Also, the taste experience of chewing the beeswax in the honeycomb is difficult to explain to somebody who hasn’t had it before.
It’s a subtle and interesting mix of flavors and sensations. Honeycomb tastes great and is one of the true delicacies of nature.
Do You Eat The Honeycomb Or Spit It Out?
The honeycomb itself is completely edible. It’s made of beeswax which contains a whole other mix of nutrients that are good for you.
Most people do enjoy eating beeswax along with honeycomb. But if that’s not your thing, you can feel free to spit it out. There isn’t a right way to eat honeycomb.
Is Honeycomb Bitter?
You would think that honeycomb couldn’t possibly be bitter because it mostly consists of sugar, but honeycomb contains raw honey which has a stronger flavor than processed honey.
This does include a subtle note of bitterness. Some people believe that the bitterness and bitter flavors come from the darker honeycombs, which have more animal byproducts because more generations of bees have been raised in them.
In general, darker honey has a deeper and more complex flavor. This can include a slight bitterness. However, honeycomb and raw honey can still be used as a sweetener, and overwhelmingly have a sweet flavor rather than a bitter one.
Does Honeycomb Taste Better Than Honey?
Yes, absolutely. The honey that you get at the grocery store can never hold a candle to raw honey that comes from a honeycomb.
The experience is completely different and the taste is far superior. If you’ve never tried honeycomb or raw honey for yourself, you need to try it to taste the difference.
Once you’ve had it, you might find that the honey that you’re used to seems sweeter but also has a shallower and less subtle flavor. It might even seem too sweet or cloyingly sweet.
In contrast, the raw honey that comes from honeycombs has a flowery and subtle, and nuanced sweetness. For many people, honeycomb is the ideal natural desert.
Why Is Honeycomb So Expensive?
The honey that you buy at the grocery store includes only a portion of real honey that is harvested from beehives.
The rest of it is sweeteners, processing agents, chemicals, and the like. This drives down the cost of honey so that it is more available to the masses.
Honeycomb is expensive because harvesting it requires the bees to keep building new hives, which takes time and energy, and because there is a relatively small supply and an increasing demand.
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