What Does the Color of My Honey Mean?

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If you haven’t paid any attention to the honey you buy, you might not have noticed the color of it might vary, depending on what you buy. The color of honey tells you a lot about what type it is, and even what might be happening to it on a natural basis.

Go take a look at the honey you have on hand now. Let’s look more in depth at what the color of it can tell you about its quality. 

What is the General Color of Raw Honey?

Most honey you buy is light brown, which is probably how you’ve seen honey most of your life. That color can still vary based on whether it’s clover honey or wildflower honey.

For clover honey, the majority of brands you’ll find are light brown. Wildflower honey, however, can sometimes vary in color, including turning much darker. 

In total, did you know over 300 varieties of honey exist in the world? All of those can affect the color of your honey based on the variety. Much of this goes on the region where the honey is harvested, the particular flowers it comes from, and even the time of year. 

Other than clover honey and wildflower honey, color often differs in types like Alfalfa, Eucalyptus, and Tupelo as just a few examples. Oftentimes, honey manufacturers will even blend different types of honey together to create a unique color and taste.

What Color Does Honey Turn When it Goes Bad?

It’s important to know what color honey turns to when it truly does spoil. One thing to know is honey doesn’t spoil easily. As long as it’s stored in cool/dry temperatures, it can last for potentially centuries and still taste good.

The only thing that will spoil honey is if the container it’s stored in leaks, causing moisture to develop inside. When this happens, bacteria grows, leading to spoiling. 

Go check all the honey you’ve stored in your basement or other part of the house. Inspect to make sure it’s still sealed tightly. If you’re not sure, open it up and check the color. What does it look like?

Truly bad honey will look cloudy rather than golden. You might even notice it looks literally white, a definite sign to throw it out. 

Another type of color in honey can indicate a particular natural process called crystallization. This often confuses people into thinking the honey has gone bad when it hasn’t.

The Color of Honey During Crystallization

When you buy raw honey, it’s possible your honey will crystallize quicker based on how it’s stored. Cooler temperatures could make the honey crystallize, turning it darker and placing what looks like white crystals on the surface.

As unappealing as this is, it’s not something to panic over. Your raw honey is still good, and it just needs to be warmed up in a pot of warm water to get it back to looking normal. 

Unfortunately, since it sometimes looks disgusting to the eye, many people throw out crystallized honey with the thought it’s no longer edible. 

Don’t let the white crystals fool you. Sure, the white color is easy to think spoilage, but naturally white honey exists and still very tasty.

The Honey Color Scheme

Did you know something called a Pfund Scale is used to grade the different colors of raw honey? It ranges from Water White to Dark Amber.

Keep in mind that darker honey contains more antioxidants, so it’s one to look out for when you buy. Still, a lot of people love white honey as well, even though it costs more to buy. 

Here at Artie’s Harvest, our wildflower raw honey can vary in color based on the varietals where it comes from. Nevertheless, the taste is always incredible, which trumps color any day.






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