What’s Sage Honey?

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Monofloral honeys, such as Clover, Orange Blossom, and Sage, have unique tastes, smells, and colors based on the nectar’s characteristics. Sage honey is high in sugars and amino acids, with darker hues indicating a more pronounced taste. Bees collect the most nectar during peak flowering season, and raw, unfiltered honey is recommended for the freshest experience. Sage honey is ideal for making mead, an alcoholic drink with ancient roots.

Honey produced by bees that visit only one type of plant flower is named after that plant. Clover, Orange Blossom and Sage are all of these varietal honeys. Sage honey, produced primarily in California, is made from the nectar of any of the herbs in the genus Salvia. A unique taste, smell and color accompany each variety, depending on the characteristics of the nectar.

These monofloral honeys, made from the nectar of one type of plant, are further classified by colour. The lighter shades range from aqua white to white to light amber. Darker, thicker types include amber and dark brown. In general, white honey has a light, sweet, and delicate taste, while dark honey is rich with a more pronounced taste.

Chemicals are responsible for the various characteristics, namely the type and amount of sugars and acids. Different types of sugar, such as glucose, fructose and sucrose, exist in different ratios in flower nectar. Sage nectar is exceptionally high in these sugars, with little water diluting the flavor. Amino acids also influence its taste.

The most popular varieties of salvia among bees are found in Black Button, White, and Purple salvia. The black button’s white flowers attract swarms in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and California coasts. Southern California grows bushes of white flowers on white sage most of the year. The darker sage honey is made from purple sage in Texas. Bees collect the most nectar during the peak flowering season, from early spring to late summer.

Many varietal honeys can be sampled at farmers markets, specialty stores, or through online retailers. Shoppers should choose those made in a raw, unfiltered method to get the freshest, most fragrant experience. Cooked or strained honey can spoil the feeling that the taster is dipping his finger into a honeycomb.

Always store honey in an airtight container, away from light or extreme heat. Sage honey is especially prized for its high sugar content, which makes it thick and less likely to crystallize. A honey with more water may granulate sooner, but this process does not mean it has gone bad. Gently reheat the jar by placing it in a bowl of hot water and it will become smooth again.

Sage honey would be a perfect choice for making mead. This alcoholic drink has roots in ancient Rome, Egypt and medieval Europe. When diluted with water and left at room temperature, the mixture ferments into a curious concoction.

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