Top Pick Of The Week

August 29, 2006
Updated November 2008

. .
Challah and honeyTime to give up the sticky generics and go for the greats: raw, varietal honeys (a.k.a. gourmet honey) from the internationally renowned beekeepers of Savannah Bee Company. Even this piece of challah knows it is more glorious with “the real deal.”
WHAT IT IS: Rare, raw honey from Georgia and other Southeastern states.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: These are varietal honeys that are difficult or impossible to find elsewhere, produced by dedicated beekeepers who move their hives to the most remote areas to follow the nectar.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Purity of honey flavor, and the pronouncement of varietal flavor in each particular honey. If you eat honey regularly, these honeys will make you pause. They’re like discovering new favorite wines: even if you like what you were currently drinking, you know you have found something better.

Savannah Bee Company Honeys: Queen Bee

Page 2: Varietal Honey


This is Page 2 of a five-page article. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.





What Makes A Good Varietal Honey

Let’s take a moment to describe artisan beekeepers, and what they do to make great honey. When you commit to purchasing a better quality of honey, it will be a varietal or monofloral honey—both words refer to the same thing, a honey made from the nectar of just one variety of flower. So what’s the difference between a monofloral honey from Savannah Bee Company (or other fine artisan producer) and another bottle of varietal honey you’d find in a fine food store or gift shop?

  • A Boutique Operation. Small-batch artisanal honey—a beekeeper with hundreds of hives—is carefully watched in the way that a larger operation with thousands of hives cannot be. When focusing on monofloral honey, the artisan beekeeper has the time to give the hives more individualized attention, beginning with placing them exactly—so there are no ground cover flowers, e.g., to attract the bees as well as the orange blossoms on the trees. After the honey is made, it is very carefully extracted, handled gently and bottled. Processing the honey from thousands of hives cannot be done with an artisan’s watchful eye; the artisan oversees subtleties like the pressure the honey is subjected to during pumping and pressure bottling. Artisans strive to keep the honey as close to its original state as possible.
  • What’s In The Bottle. There is no industry regulation of varietal honey contents. Back to the wine analogy, a varietal bottle must contain 80% of that grape. When you buy a cabernet sauvignon, you expect the wine to taste like a cabernet. When you buy a monofloral honey, there is no such guarantee—the contents could contain as little as 50% of the varietal (bee pollens are measured to validate the type of honey in the jar). Perhaps a beekeeper blended the honey to achieve a certain flavor or color; or perhaps the bees strayed beyond the particular varietal field and brought back nectar from other sources. Weather, e.g. rain, also can make a difference in why a honey doesn’t have much varietal characteristic. A beekeeper with a top reputation won’t label honey as a varietal that doesn’t have 90% or more of the varietal pollen: he or she will sell it as blended honey instead. It isn’t that the honey isn’t good—it’s that it won’t give you the true varietal experience the beekeeper thinks you should have.

Continue To Page 3: Savannah Bee Honey Varieties


Do you have friends who would enjoy THE NIBBLE?
Click here to send them an invitation to sign up for their own copy.


ABOUT THE NIBBLE. THE NIBBLE, Great Finds For Foodies™, is an online magazine about specialty foods and the gourmet life. It is the only consumer publication and website that focuses on reviewing the best specialty foods and beverages, in every category. The magazine also covers tabletop items, gourmet housewares, and other areas of interest to people who love fine food.

© Copyright 2004-2019 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All information contained herein is subject to change at any time without notice. All details must be directly confirmed with manufacturers, service establishments and other third parties. The material in this newsletter may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached, or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Lifestyle Direct, Inc.