When the Englishmen said "as sweet as honey", the folks were usually referring to Sourwood honey. And Americans always say “When it comes to quality and taste, no other honey can match Sourwood Honey.”
There are over 305 recognized varieties of honey in the USA and worldwide, each with a matchless flavor, color and fragrance. All this depends on which flowers and plants from which the bees gather pollen grains, making the honey.
Sourwood honey has been among the utmost demanded honey worldwide for an extended period. This is because of its outstanding properties, which are unique to this honey.
Sourwood honey has a magnificent amber color, unlike most honey, which is transparent or golden amber.
Moreover, you will be surprised to find out that the honey is absolutely not sour. This honey has a gallant, yet stable flavor of creamy caramel with an aftertaste that can slightly be associated with gingerbread.
The honey has an unspoiled soft and syrupy smoothness to add a fantastic fragrance similar to some cinnamon and cloves.
This honeybee category is made when honeybees suck nectar from blossoms and gather pollen from the sourwood trees' dropping a fluffy set of white flowers.
These trees only grow in the rugged Eastern mountains region, the Appalachian mountain section of Tennessee and the Western North Carolina area in the United States of America.
However, due to its popularity, it is not surprising that sourwood honey producers come from as far-off as Northern Georgia, making this honey a gem. Its spice flavor and amber color make it one of the most distinctive honey in the world.
Beehives are placed strategically in the rather beautiful canopy formed by the trees a few weeks before the blooming season kicks off so as not to lose its monofloral quality.
The scientific name given to these trees is Oxydendrum arboretum. These trees form part of the limited widespread dominant members of the Southeast region's highland forest scenery.
They are mostly famous for their white flowers which develop during the first weeks of summer. The sourwood tree begins to flower the third week of June, with blooms lasting only three weeks.
Trees got the name from the acrid taste obtained from the rich green leaves, which have a sour flavor when used to cook tea and fragrant flowers white in color, which attracts the bees.
These trees grow to a mature height of about 28 feet from the ground and spread to around 20 feet and form a continuous dense cover of sourwoods flowers from which bees find nectar.
The result is wholesome monofloral honey, which makes it an expensive gem.
Sourwood honey is among the most challenging types of honey to produce. This is because trees are primarily located in a specific location only and the flowers bloom for only about four weeks per year from July to August.
Due to this scarcity, there is only one chance to taste this honey in its purest form. This happens once a year during the Sourwood Festival in North Carolina in August. Festival celebrates the beautiful Appalachian native Sourwood tree and its delicious honey.
This special event attracts 30,000 visitors who come to see what beekeepers have to offer and taste different honey types.
Each time you put some sourwood honey in your mouth, you feel that you are tasting something special, thanks to the lasting sweet taste of spicy-caramel.
Sourwood honey is used both as food and for medicinal use.
Besides the usual health benefits that any honey has, sourwood honey is recognized for its medicinal use. The honey has specific properties against micro bacteria and antioxidant properties.
The pollen produced by the bees causes the honey to form hydrogen peroxide, which is an antioxidant that helps combat pathogens that usually damage the cells of the body, providing remarkable anti-inflammatory assistance.
Due to its pure state, honey has always been known to reduce signs and symptoms related to allergy. Because of its antibacterial properties and sweet taste, sourwood honey also offers an excellent choice to deal with influenza and itchy throat.
Honey is also great for wounds and burns treatment on the skin. Moreover, eating sourwood honey leads to a pleasant way of lowering high blood pressure and reducing heart disease risk.
When sourwood honey is used instead of regular sugar, it helps the body bring down the levels of triglycerides, which, to a great extent, lowers the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Did you know that honey is usually 100% free from calories, making it a preferred and healthy type of food in place of refined sugar?
When used as a food additive, honey gives some beautiful treats, such as honey grill sauce, honey marinade, honey muffins and different kinds of beverage.
It also works well when you trickle it over bread, cereals, fermented milk, cheese and almost any other kind of food.
Sourwood honey can also be used with drinks without overshadowing the flavor of the drink instead it will add a health quality. This type of honey is the best substitute for sugar.
Because of the delicious taste of sourwood honey, thousands of families wait for the Sourwood Annual Festival every year, where they get to enjoy the "best honey in the world" award holder, the sourwood honey!
It has won three out of the last six Apimondia world champion honey contests and is highly coveted by food connoisseurs worldwide.
Apimondia (International Federation of Beekeepers' Associations) is an organization that promotes scientific, ecological, social and economic apicultural development.
If you will have the opportunity to buy this honey, be sure to try to eat it in combination with a warm biscuit and tea. Looking like liquid gold and with its royal taste, it will take you to honey heaven.