Florida honey is some of the best on the market. And is available in a wide variety of flavors and intensity, ranging from strong to mild. Some are fruity and floral, others rich and buttery.
They contain simple sugars that the body finds easy to break down, making Florida honey a natural sweetener.
At farm stands and green markets, you’ll find raw honey bottled directly by the beekeepers.
But expect to pay more than in the past for the golden sweet stuff: U.S.-produced honey is bringing premium prices after the 2013 “honey-laundering” scandal that saw tainted and mislabeled imported honey on American shelves.
Raw honey a big seller
A renewed interest in honey as medicinal also has spurred sales of raw honey – honey that has never been heated for processing. It still contains pollens and beeswax. It’s believed to alleviate plant allergies if it’s taken from hives near the consumer.
Here’s a look at just a few Florida honey favorites
Avocado: Typically found in South Florida, this dark, rich honey is smooth and has a buttery finish on the palate. It’s a good honey for baking.
Blueberry: The up-and-coming Florida honey; find it at farmers markets and near blueberry fields to make sure you’re getting real Florida honey. Its pronounced fruit flavor makes it a favorite in tea and in baked goods.
Gallberry: A robust, darker honey with a slight floral flavor, this variety is from North and Central Florida, where it’s favored by the locals. It’s a good choice for baked goods.
Orange blossom: Flowery and light, with only a slight citrus flavor, this Florida honey is a state favorite. Found in most tourist shops.
Saw palmetto: A mild- to medium-citrusy honey, with a medium to dark color. Found primarily in Florida, it’s a honey known to have been gathered by Native Americans in Florida and is likely the oldest variety in the state.
Tupelo: This is the prize honey, and known internationally. Produced in Florida’s Apalachicola River Basin, this light-amber honey, with what some describe as having a cotton-candy flavor, will not crystallize and has a low glycemic index. It can easily fetch upward of $18 a jar.