Getting tired of the taste of the honey you find in supermarkets?
Try a different kind of American honey with a unique Southern twist.
Gallberry honey is made from the gallberry bush of Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia.
It has a complex taste, making it perfect for everything from baking to spreading onto your morning toast.
What is Gallberry Honey?
Gallberry honey used to be the honey most commonly made in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. It is becoming increasingly rare because of the disappearance of the gallberry bush’s habitat. The honey is complex in flavor, lemonier, molasses-like compared to regular honey found in grocery stores. It can be used as a syrup, spread for bread or toast, in tea, and for baking, including baking hams.
Why Gallberry Honey is More Expensive Than Honey at the Grocery Store
Gallberry honey is at least twice as expensive as honey that you will find at the grocery store.
Depending on how pure it is and how large the jar is, you may even pay three times the amount.
You won’t find gallberry honey at the grocery store.
You need to get it online, unless you live in Florida, South Carolina, or Georgia, where you may find it in stores or farm stands.
Gallberry honey is made by bees that only go to gallberry bushes, also known as inkberry bushes because the berries are black.
This evergreen bush used to be abundant in Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Unfortunately, urban sprawl has destroyed most gallberry bushes.
This makes gallberry honey rare.
Gallberry bushes do not flower year-round, so there is a limited amount of time for bees to gather the nectar needed to make honey. The bushes usually flower from April to June.
Another factor that impacts price is how the honey is jarred. Honey jarred by hand is always going to be more expensive.
And, finally, another factor that raises the price is whether the honey has been filtered.
The honey that you buy at the supermarket has been filtered.
Many gallberry honey sellers choose to go with raw, unfiltered honey.
Unfiltered honey contains more nutrients and antioxidants than filtered honey.
Not All Gallberry Honey is Alike
When you shop for gallberry honey, you need to pay attention to more than the price.
Some distributors of gallberry honey sell a product that only has some gallberry honey in it.
The rest of the honey is blended with other kinds.
This makes gallberry honey less expensive. It also drastically alters the taste and how soon it crystallizes.
Another factor that can impact the purity of gallberry honey is making sure that bees just use gallberry bush flowers and no other kinds of flowers.
That is a very exacting process and difficult to do. Hives have to be placed right at the gallberry bushes. Although bees can travel many miles to gather nectar, they won’t if there is a huge source of nectar close by.
The honey then needs to be harvested right after the flowers finish blooming. This way, the bees haven’t had time to travel about to find another source of nectar.
Honey made from just one kind of flower is often sold as “single source honey” or “single varietal” honey.
Important Note About Unfiltered Honey
Although raw or unfiltered honey is strained to remove impurities like dead bees, it cannot filter out incredibly small particles.
Unfiltered honey contains pollen. Sometimes, it also contains a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum.
Because of the chance of this bacteria, never feed raw or unfiltered honey to children under the age of one. The bacteria rarely harm adults or healthy older children.
However, if you are allergic to bee pollen, you should definitely not eat raw or unfiltered honey.
It could trigger dangerous allergic reactions such as not being able to breathe normally, swelling of the lips and tongue, or hives on the skin.
If you are not sure if you are allergic to bee pollen, just take a little taste of the honey and then wait for 24 hours. If nothing bad happens, then feel free to use gallberry honey as much as you like.
About Gallberry Honey’s Qualities
Gallberry honey’s color varies, depending on how much it has been blended with other honey, and whether it has been filtered.
Unfiltered or raw honey may look a little cloudy.
This means that gallberry honey ranges from light amber to dark gold. It may have more air bubbles than you are used to seeing in honey.
Gallberry honey is usually thicker than store-bought honey. This makes it easier to work with if you use it in baking.
Although it might take longer to pour, it’s easier to measure since it doesn’t readily gush out over the sides of a spoon to cup.
The taste can also vary, depending on if the honey was blended and if it was filtered. It usually has a lemony smell.
The taste is more complex than store-bought honey. Some people taste tart notes, similar to the tartness in a lemon.
People like that it tastes more like molasses than honey. Some others are able to pick up flavors similar to raisins. Whatever you taste, this is not honey that is overpoweringly sweet.
Gallberry honey does not crystalize as fast as other honey due to its high level of a type of fructose called levulose.
This means that even in cold weather, the honey will take much longer to crystalize than other types of honey.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gallberry Honey
Is a Spoonful of Honey a Day Good for You?
Honey is much healthier than other forms of sweeteners, but it still needs to be consumed in moderation. Honey contains antioxidants and small amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Does Gallberry Honey Expire?
Honey does not go bad. Honey can crystalize, which may change the flavor, but it will not get bad or get you sick. Gallberry honey is noted for being very slow to crystalize, but you’ll probably eat it all long before it begins to crystalize.
Is Gallberry Honey more Expensive than Regular Honey?
Gallberry honey is expensive in comparison to the usual honey found in grocery stores. However, it’s downright cheap in comparison to Elvish honey, the most expensive honey in the world, because it comes from only one cave in Turkey. It costs around $6800 for one kilogram or nearly 35 ounces.
Gallberry honey is molasses-flavored honey with citrus notes made from the nectar of gallberry bush flowers.
The bush is also called inkberry.
Once common on the tables and pantries of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, it is now harder to find due to the development of the gallberry bush habitat. It is more expensive due to its rarity.