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9 Types of Honey (and Where to Get Them)

Your recipe calls for "honey," but there are many types of honey—and each one has a unique flavor, texture and aroma.

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Jars of honey on display for sale.D-Ozen/gettyimages

If you’ve spent time browsing the stalls at the farmers market, you may already know that there are several types of honey. In fact, there are over 300 varieties! Many factors affect the honey’s flavor and color, but the major difference between each type revolves around the flower. That’s why honey is usually named after this nectar source.

Most pasteurized honey tastes the same, so look for raw, unfiltered honey. It’s the best way to experience its true flavor and health benefits, and it also keeps you from accidentally buying fake honey.

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Honey with acacia blossoms on a wooden backgroundAlmaje/gettyimages

Acacia

Good for: Tea, baking or slathering on biscuits

Where to buy: Bee Harmony

Acacia honey is an all-purpose honey with a very mild but sweet flavor. It’s not actually made from the acacia flower. Instead, the nectar comes from a “false acacia tree,” also known as the black locust. It’s one of the clearest, lightest-colored types of honey available, and it’s unlikely to crystallize in the jar because of its high fructose content.

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Organic Black Cane Sugar Molasses in a BowlBrent Hofacker / 500px/gettyimages

Buckwheat

Good for: Baking or marinades

Where to buy: Asheville Bee Charmer

Buckwheat honey is strong and dark, with a molasses-like color and texture. Its bold flavor makes it best suited for baking instead of raw uses, but it’s also powerful enough to hold up to flavorful meats in marinades. It contains more antioxidants than lighter-colored honey, so it’s a great choice for treating sore throats.

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fresh honey clover flower on concrete backgroundTanyaLovus/gettyimages

Clover

Good for: Baking, marinades, salad dressings, or drizzling on oatmeal

Where to buy: Bloom Honey

Clover honey is one of the most popular varieties found in the United States. It has a very floral aroma with a light, sweet flavor that make it a good all-purpose honey. Some clover honey is labeled as creamed clover, which has been crystallized into a creamy mixture with a spreadable consistency.

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Flat lay composition with fresh honey on light blue wooden table. Space for textbelchonock/gettyimages

Eucalyptus

Good for: Tea or medicinal uses

Where to buy: Honeycube

This honey originated in Australia, although today it’s also made in California. The eucalyptus flowers lend a distinctly medicinal vibe with an herbal aroma and menthol flavor. It’s a good variety to use when taking advantage of the health benefits of honey.

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Herbal tea, honey comb and medicinal herbsrozmarina/gettyimages

Fireweed

Good for: Baking, marinades and grilling recipes

Where to buy: Anna’s Honey

Fireweed honey comes from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, where bees feed on the perennial herb that’s native to these areas. The resulting honey is light-colored with a complex, buttery flavor. It’s perfect for standing up to the bold flavors of the grill.

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Pot Of Honey And Wooden Stick Are On A Table outdoors.Chepko/gettyimages

Orange Blossom

Good for: Tea, drizzling on pancakes, slathering on biscuits

Where to buy: Smiley Honey

This light, mild honey has a distinctive citrusy flavor and aroma. It originated in Spain and Mexico, but today it’s often made in the citrus belt—Florida, Texas and California. It’s a great finishing honey for breads and pastries, but be sure to look for raw, unfiltered honey when buying orange blossom. Many brands add artificial flavors, which can be identified easily if the honey smells perfumed.

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The cup of sage healthy drinking tea for warm when illness and cold.kerdkanno/gettyimages

Sage

Good for: Tea, baking or serving with bread and pastries

Where to buy: Honey Pacifica

Sage honey is light-colored, but it has a heavier body than other light honey varieties. It’s mild but sweet, making it a good all-around honey. Sage honey is slow to crystallize, so it’s often blended with other types off honey to slow the process.

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Honeycomb on a plate on wooden backgroundClaudia Totir/gettyimages

Tupelo


Good for: Tea, serving on biscuits or drizzling over ice cream

Where to buy: Savannah Bee Company

Tupelo honey is sweeter than most honey, with a pleasant buttery flavor, a smooth texture and a faint green glow. It’s a rare variety, as it’s only harvested in Southeastern U.S. swamps once a year. It tends to be more expensive than most honey, so enjoy it in applications where its flavor can really be appreciated.

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St. John's wort flower honey in a jar with flowers closeupStefan Tomic/gettyimages

Wildflower

Good for: Tea, baking or marinades

Where to buy: Beekeeper’s Naturals

This honey is made from the nectar of several different flower varieties. It can be mild or extremely bold, depending on the flower blend, so give it a taste before serving it raw with pastries or bread. Consuming local wildflower honey may be a good way to fight seasonal allergies triggered by pollen.

Lindsay D. Mattison
After years of working in professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to turn local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for her family.

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