The color, flavor, and aroma of each variety of honey can vary depending on the flower from which it is sourced, reigning over the planet with hundreds of mind-boggling variants. This makes determining which one is best for us really tough. Unfortunately, making a decision is difficult and is heavily influenced by usage and personal tastes. Although there are some exceptions, the general rule is that lighter-colored honey has a sweeter flavor than the darker-colored honey price in Pakistan.
Sadly, it is well acknowledged that it is challenging to get this pure form commercially because of what is sometimes referred to as “honey laundering.” The removal of pollen grains and propolis (bee glue) from the filtered and pasteurized version sold in stores is one of the main distinctions between the two. The pollen and propolis in raw honey actually plant extracts with significant medicinal and health benefits; removing them deprives the honey of many of these elements. Regular honey may contain antibodies in contrast to raw honey, which is loaded with antioxidants, antifungal, and antiviral qualities. While filtered honey is artificially preserved to improve shelf life, raw honey can be stored for decades or even centuries.
PURE VS. RAW HONEY
The distinction between pure honey and raw honey is another issue with which individuals frequently struggle. There is just a very thin border between raw and pure form, and it has more to do with texture than temperature, as is frequently assumed. The pure form of honey is the kind that has been strained and meshed, where the majority of the grits have been removed, producing a much cleaner, clearer golden syrup. Raw honey is exactly that: raw, containing particles of ground-up honeycomb, pollen, and even pieces of bees in the honey. However, many nutrients are still present because the food is not heated above the point of pasteurization.
Honey that has not been heated, pasteurized, or otherwise processed is known as “raw honey,” according to Gilgit-Baltistan beekeeper Noor Khan. It is honey in its most authentic form. He explains, “We harvest raw honey directly from bee frames and bottle it in thick, sterile glass jars using a particular, antique bottler. Since no heat is used in the extraction process, all of the natural vitamins, living enzymes, and nutrients are preserved, which is why it is also known as “raw and cold extracted honey.”
Honeydew, sometimes known as forest honey, is another famous member of the family with a potent and distinct woody flavor. In contrast to honey generated from blossom nectar, forest honey is made from sweet tree sap and diverse grasses and is secreted by insects that feed on plants, like aphids. It is available in darker tones, though occasionally it has a greenish, brownish, or bluish hue. While it tends to share traits with its relatives in nature, its taste differs slightly with a warm, woody, fragrant flavor that might take some getting used to.
Because raw honey contains minute pieces of honeycomb, propolis, and bee pollen, it crystallizes quite quickly. Granules are formed when honey’s sugar molecules attract these foreign objects. Although raw honey seems cloudier and flows more slowly, Khan continues, “it is rich in amino acids, minerals, and over 5,000 enzymes, and it has a very high amount of antioxidants.
However, some suppliers pasteurize honey (up to 70 degrees Celsius) to speed up the process of getting it into the bottles and through the honey processing machinery.
Heat also prevents the honey from crystallizing quickly (consumers prefer a clear and liquid form of honey). Although pasteurized honey seems smoother and clearer, customers are unaware that most of the active vitamins, minerals, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial characteristics have been removed from the transparent honey retained on store shelves.
Wait! You might believe that pasteurization is crucial for eliminating microorganisms found in honey. This is a false impression! The fact is that honey’s low water content and acidic pH level prevent bacteria from growing there. Pasteurization is therefore completely unneeded; rather, it is a marketing requirement because consumers prefer to believe that transparent honey looks healthy and is pure.
Acacia Modesta, Acacia Nilotika, Apple Blossom, Peach Blossom, Sidr honey in Lahore (Beri), Robinia (from Black Locust Tree), Orega (speaker), and Juniper Forest honey are only a few examples of the finest and sweetest honey produced in Pakistan. When Afghan refugees arrived and settled in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 1979 as a result of the Soviet War in Afghanistan, apiculture (beekeeping) flourished dramatically in Pakistan. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) assisted them in starting their individual beekeeping operations.
Shehroze Ramay, the owner of a Sidr Kalonji honey in Pakistan marketplace who collaborates with a sizable team of beekeepers from all across Pakistan, said that bee boxes were donated and bees were brought from Australia and Italy so that these refugees could make a respectable living. “Slowly, their enterprises expanded, and today, Afghan refugees who have settled in and around Peshawar own around 80% of the honey businesses.”