There’s more to the sticky stuff than those (admittedly cute) plastic bear bottles. “Standard, store-bought honey is usually a blend from different hives kept by industrial beekeepers all over the world,” says Claire Stewart, a beekeeper from New York City College of Technology. Opt for local honeys (often available at farmers’ markets), which come from single, smaller hives in your area. And since different varieties are made from bees who feast on specific types of pollen, each syrup has a unique flavor, color, and aroma, says Stewart.
Select honey based on how you’ll eat it: clover or orange blossom honeys have a mild taste and are delicious drizzled in oatmeal. Stronger, darker buckwheat honey has a molasses-like flavor and works well in quick breads. Be sure to choose a honey whose label lists the town or state it comes from to ensure it was sources from a smaller, more bee-friendly operation.