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Pure Honey, Pure Health

Victor Léon

Posted on January 25 2019

Pure Honey, Pure Health

Pure Honey, Pure Health

Pure, raw, unfiltered honey is the one of the world’s best health foods. It's 100% natural, full of nutrients and has no expiration date. It needs no refrigeration and is its own preservative - even honey found in ancient Egyptian tombs is still edible, after 3,000 years!

But not all honey is the same. The flora surrounding the bee hive determines the aroma and character because it's the source of the food the bees bring back. Black Forest beekeepers are famous for their honeydew or forest honey - a special variety made from tree sap instead of the usual flower nectar. It's darker and less sweet than common honey but is less acidic and has a deep, rich flavour that combines with its tangy, spicy aroma to make it an exquisite delicacy.

Forest honey is highly treasured because, despite the extensive wooded areas provided by the Black Forest (which also offer a wide range of forest honeys), honeydew honey cannot be collected every year. Honeydew formation is much more weather-dependent than flower pollen.

On top of that, every 500g pot of honey is the result of 50,000 bee flights: each worker brings back 50mg of nectar per flight, which produces 10mg of honey. Assuming each bee flies 1km to gather pollen or honeydew, that's 100,000km of busy buzzing in every jar! So much flying needs lots of bees, so the single queen in every hive lays between 1,500 and 2,000 eggs a day - about her own body weight - to breed 200,000 bees over a full 7-month season.

The most important thing to remember when you're buying honey is to choose the purest. The less that is done to the honey, the healthier it is. The honey from Cuckoo's Nest conforms to the German Bee Keepers Association's (Deutscher Imkerbund e.V.) quality guidelines, which are even stricter than the government's food regulations.

Our honey is exclusively German (detectable by a pollen analysis), with less than 18% water (measured by a calibrated refractometer) for a fuller aroma and completely 'natural'.

But what does 'natural' mean? It means no heat treatment (invertase activity of at least 64 units (U/kg) Siegenthaler), proper storage for the minimum possible hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) content of 15mg/kg (that's a product caused by overheating and improper storage) and making sure all the components of honey are present - nothing added, nothing taken away! And just to go the extra step, the German Bee Keepers Association makes sure that our honey is free of preservatives and additives, is 100% natural and the bees are not sugar-fed.

You might sometimes see crystallisation in pots of honey. That's normal. Some honeys crystallise quicker than others, depending on the plants they come from, but that means the honey hasn't been cooked or had any chemicals or corn syrup added. To reverse crystallisation, simply loosen the lid and put it in a shallow pan of warm water. The honey will soon return to its liquid state, with no loss of flavour or aroma. Don't microwave or boil it, though - that will kill all the enzymes and make it less healthy.

Rest assured, the forest honey you buy at Cuckoo's Nest is a genuine, healthy, natural product that comes from a real local beekeeper. They remove the full honeycombs from their beehives and use modern, hygienic extractors to pour the honey out into jars. From there, it's a short trip to our shelves and your morning toast!

And your purchase helps to protect the ecological balance of our beautiful Black Forest flora. Millions of German bees fly to millions of honeydew drops every to collect the dew for each jar of forest honey, keeping our forest healthy and fertile, as nature intended.

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