Honey is collected as nectar by honeybees, from the blossoms of some flowering plants. It is converted into honey by the honeybee. Honey contains no additives, preservatives, artificial or synthetic ingredients. The Pure Food and Drug regulations prohibits additions of any sort.
Both liquid and creamed honey are pure honey, nothing more, nothing less. The word creamed, refers to the smooth, creamy texture of solid honey that has been processed for this purpose. Honey is "creamed" by mixing fine honey crystals into liquid honey, pouring the honey into the container, then placing it in cool storage to promote rapid granulation. This process produces a small crystal structure, which gives a smooth creamy texture - hence creamed honey.
Both liquid and creamed honey can be frozen without damage, but is best kept at room temperature. It is sensitive to high temperatures. Even warm temperatures will cause it to lose flavour and to darken over time. Liquid honey should not be kept refrigerated, as this speeds up granulation.
Honey is delicious as a spread on bread, toast, muffins; as a topping on ice cream, sliced fruit, breakfast cereal, etc. It is also excellent as a sweetener in baking, in BBQ sauces, and in preserves.
Honey is pasteurized by heating it enough to kill the sugar tolerant yeast which live in the honey. Neither Burke's liquid nor creamed honey is pasteurized.
Honey is not pasteurized to kill bacteria, as it is in dairy products. Originally, honey was pasteurized to prevent honey that was a little high in moisture from fermenting, by killing the sugar tolerant yeast found in honey.
With more careful processing and the availability of simple testing equipment, high moisture is not the problem it once was, but honey is still pasteurized to keep liquid honey, liquid longer. (It slows down the granulation process.)
Canada No.1 honey is too low in moisture for the yeast to grow and cause fermentation, so pasteurization is not necessary.
The more honey is heated, the more it breaks down beneficial enzymes, and changes the flavour of the honey.
Granulation is a natural process. Some type of honey granulate quicker than others, depending what type of flower the bees collected the honey from. The more honey is heated, the longer it stays liquid. Since our honey is not pasteurized, it will granulate faster than some, but it is a sign that it is more natural. Granulated liquid honey has not "gone bad", and is still usable.
Granulated honey is easy to use as is, in baking or as a spread, or it can be re-liquified by placing the container in hot water, no more than 50 °C, and stirred occasionally until clear.
Store honey at room temperature, not in the refrigerator. If honey isn't going to be used for several weeks, it can be frozen until needed, then kept at room temperature. Keep the honey free of toast crumbs, or other particles. They just provide a nucleus for the honey to granulate around. Buy a container that you will use up in a month or two. Eat more honey!
Raw honey has not been heated or filtered. It usually granulates very quickly, and will have specks of wax and pollen suspended on the honey. While it is available in bottles or tubs, the best way to get raw honey is in the form of honeycomb. It has not been processed in any way, and is still in the beeswax comb where the bees sealed it.
When bees collect nectar from flowers, they thicken it into honey and store it in beeswax comb which they build.
Honeycomb can be chewed like gum, and the wax spit out when done. In our opinion, the best way to eat it is to spread the honeycomb (wax and all) on a warm piece of toast or muffin. The warm toast softens the wax and you don't notice it, just the fresh clean taste of the virgin honey comes through. It's our favourite way to eat honey.