If you're in a specialty foods store or at a farm stand in the southern U.S., you may come across a type of honey called tupelo honey. The first thing you're likely to notice is that the price is several times that of ordinary honey you might find at a grocery store. This will probably have you wondering—what makes tupelo honey so different?
Tupelo honey is only produced in a small region.
Honey can be made anywhere that there are bees and flowers. However, the flavor of the honey varies based on the type of flowers the bees are collecting nectar from. The honey in the grocery store generally comes from bees that collect from clover and a variety of wildflowers. Tupelo honey, on the other hand, is made only from the nectar of tupelo flowers. The tupelo is a tree that only grows in parts of Florida and Georgia. Since tupelo honey is so regional, there is a limited amount of it, which explains its high price.
Tupelo honey is very light and mild.
Since the honey in the grocery store is made from all different types of flowers, it tends to be almost orange-brown in color. Its flavor is deep, but usually pretty mundane and sugary. Tupelo honey is much lighter in color. Its flavor is often described as being mild, a little fruity, and only somewhat sweet. But as mild as the flavor is, it does have multiple layers and a lot of interesting nuance. As soon as you taste it, you'll understand that this honey is different.
Tupelo honey has specific health benefits.
Tupelo honey is known for being particularly high in antioxidants. This is partially because of the flowers it is extracted from and partially because the tupelo honey is always left raw. No nutrients dissipate from it due to heat. The antioxidants in tupelo honey are good for your immune system. They may help fight signs of aging, too.
Tupelo honey also has a lower glycemic index than most honey. In other words, eating it won't spike your blood sugar as severely as eating normal honey or sugar. This makes tupelo honey a better choice for diabetics.
The next time you come across tupelo honey, you'll understand why it comes with a higher price tag. Pick up a jar, and try it for yourself. Between its flavor and its health benefits, it's hard to beat.