Have you ever had honey that’s become thick and granular? Do you love it or hate it? Well, we’re here to tell you that this is the result of a completely normal and natural process called crystallization that will eventually occur in most honey (especially raw honey). And, it’s still delicious!
Honey, made by honeybees, is a supersaturated mixture of two sugars (fructose and glucose) and water. The ratio of sugar to water varies, but it’s generally in the range of 70% sugar and 20% water. Because of this natural imbalance, all real honey will crystallize. The rate at which it crystallizes depends on a few different factors: temperature, nectar source and pollen.
Raw honey crystallizes faster when exposed to colder temperatures (especially between 50 – 59 degrees F). To keep honey in its original liquid state for longer, store it in a pantry or cupboard that stays around 70 – 80 degrees F. And, unless you’re trying to crystallize your honey, do not store it in the fridge.
Different flowers produce different ratios of glucose to fructose in their nectar. These differences determine how quickly honey will crystallize. For example, honey made from bees gathering alfalfa nectar will be higher in glucose than fructose. This glucose-rich honey will crystallize more rapidly than honey that is fructose-rich.
Raw honey (like Naked Wild Honey) is unfiltered and retains natural pollen and enzymes, which are highly desirable qualities. But, the presence of these tiny pollen particles also means raw honey crystallizes faster than filtered honey.
In the end, crystallized honey, while not liquid and pourable, is still the delicious honey you know and love. Next time your honey begins to form these textured crystals, try spreading it on some buttered toast and let us know what you think!