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The color and flavor of honeys differ depending on the nectar source (the blossoms) visited by the honey bees. In fact, there are more than 300 unique types of honey available in the United States, each originating from a different floral source. Honey color ranges from nearly colorless to dark brown, and its flavor varies from delectably mild to distinctively bold, depending on where the honey bees buzzed. As a general rule, light-colored honey is milder in taste and dark-colored honey is stronger.
Honey is produced in every state, but depending on floral source location, certain types of honey are produced only in a few regions. Honey is also produced in most countries of the world.
Following is a look at some of the most common honey floral varieties. To learn more about available types of honey in your area, contact a local beekeeper.
This is the very first nectar flow of the year from flowers and trees.
Wildflower honey is often used to describe honey from miscellaneous and undefined flower sources.
Orange blossom honey, often a combination of citrus sources, is usually light in color and mild in flavor with a fresh scent and light citrus taste. Orange blossom honey is produced in Florida, Southern California and parts of Texas.
Clover honey has a pleasing, mild taste. Clovers contribute more to honey production in the United States than any other group of plants. Red clover, Alsike clover and the white and yellow sweet clovers are most important for honey production. Depending on the location and type of source clover, clover honey varies in color from water white to light amber to amber.
Taken from the tiny white flowers of the blueberry bush, the nectar makes a honey which is typically light amber in color and with a full, well-rounded flavor. Blueberry honey is produced in New England and in Michigan.
Buckwheat honey is dark and full-bodied. It is produced in Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, as well as in eastern Canada. Buckwheat honey has been found to contain more antioxidant compounds than some lighter varieties.
Goldenrod is found along roads, pastures, meadows and other areas. When it is unripe, it has an unattractive smell. However, it is amazing that once it is ripe the smell changes into distinctive spicy flavor. Goldenrod is used by commercial marketers for a wide range of use in other products. Although due to its spicy and pungent flavor, it does not suit everyone’s taste; the raw goldenrod honey is a favorite of the allergy sufferers.