Tips when buying honey

Panales de abejas del apicultor Apícola Moreno

A quality honey is a honey that tends to solidify and has a fruity aroma and taste. This is a pure or raw honey called vulgarly, and it is not so easy to find in Madrid. Many of the honeys they sell, despite having the name honey, are a mixture of honeys from different international sources, which have been handled, pasteurized, removed from their original pollen and added to the original taste of the seller, even mixing them with other products that have nothing to do with bees.

Where to buy pure honey in Madrid?

In Madrid you can buy honey in any supermarket and food store, but quality raw or pure honey is not easy to find. In large supermarkets it is difficult to find quality honey, almost all the honey they sell have been pasteurized and have been subjected to some further handling process.

In the gourmet shops you can already find quality honeys. If what we want to buy is already a specific single-flower honey, we have no choice but to look for other specialized honey shops, which among the most important would be El Cortijuelo de San Benito, La Casa de la Miel, La mielería, El Colmenero, Moderna Apicultura…

The Cortijuelo de San Benito in Las Rozas de Madrid stands out among them for its great variety of honeys it offers; orange blossom honey, heather honey, thyme, lavender, rosemary, acacia, linden, rapeseed, chestnut… more than 30 single-flower honeys and for its great knowledge of the product it sells. In El Cortijuelo they advise you very well on each honey, the places of production, and know the facilities of each beekeeper. In addition, they carry out tastings on the honey both in the shop and in particular places.

It’s worth buying cheap honey

There is a great disparity in prices and qualities in large supermarkets, small gourmet shops and on the Internet. Looking at these price disparities, it would be easier to think that the higher the price, the higher the quality, or the higher the volume that large supermarkets buy, the higher the product quality, but at much lower prices.

However, if we think a little more about it, or if we have bought different brands of honey at different prices, we will have discovered that there are different qualities and that in many brands, we buy more image than product.

From this article we want to expose a series of points to bear in mind before buying a honey.

The consistency of the honey:

If we buy a honey, which is always liquid and when winter comes, it does not crystallize either, we find a low quality honey, but if your honey is crystallized and solid, this is a clue that the honey is of quality.

Quality honey tends to crystallize and solidify. This is because the glucose molecules contained in honey tend to form crystals, as this is their lower energy state. A honey that does not crystallize, has been pasteurized and therefore subjected to high temperatures. Pasteurization manages to break down glucose molecules so that they do not crystallize, a process by which the aroma of honey and many of its properties are lost.

We have to take into account that honey with less glucose and darker than heather and forest honey takes a long time to crystallize, and these may not crystallize during the time we consume them. Honey such as rosemary honey, lavender and orange blossom are honeys that crystallize quite quickly, which often, especially in winter we are already solidified.

The origin of honey:

We always recommend buying directly from the beekeeper, not from large retailers.

Large retailers buy large volumes of honey abroad, especially from Asia, and in order to hide its origin and avoid contamination, the honey is pasteurized and passed through resins. Pasteurization prevents contamination and fermentation. The aim of resins is to eliminate pollen and make it into honey à la carte, adding the pollen you want and managing to hide its true origin.

A beekeeper can also handle his honey, he would only have to go to an importer of honey and mix it with his own, but it is something more difficult, and something he would not do, because buyers or customers like us, we visit their facilities to ensure completely the quality and origin of the honey, and to get a few extra euros should not risk their business.

Photo: Our shop specializing in olive oil and honey

Here we also take the opportunity to give some more advice on honey:

Honey should not be heated above 40°C:
Honey is ideal for breakfast on toast and sweeten tea or milk. It is also widely used for baking and other cooking dishes. Ideally, it should not be subjected to temperatures above 40 °C, as some of the beneficial components of honey, such as its enzymes, degrade at high temperatures. However, even if we subject it to high temperatures, it is always better to take honey than other sugars or sweeteners.

Honey is rich and healthy, and a natural medicine:

Honey is ideal for curing small wounds and for ending colds and coughs, especially eucalyptus honey, which, in addition to containing the properties of honey, bactericides and disinfectants, contains a component called eucalyptol that also provides great disinfectant properties.

For wounds and small infections we recommend heather and thyme honey, as these two stand out for their great health benefits.

At El Cortijuelo de San Benito we offer the largest variety of honey in Spain, all of which comes directly from the beekeeper. Besides. We have ensured its quality by visiting all the beekeepers and their hives.

Buy pure honey online

To buy pure and raw honey online there are a wide variety of companies and individuals that offer their product and where you can buy it to take home. In Spain we have a great variety of online stores, which we can multiply if we focus on each country, as beekeeping is found in all countries of the world.

The convenience of shopping online is that they take it home and if the order exceeds a certain amount, you are usually not charged for postage.

In the case of El Cortijuelo de San Benito, we send us anywhere, in mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands we do not charge shipping costs from 70 €. Outside Spain, depending on the distance we charge 15, 20 or 25 euros plus VAT.

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