The most common question in business is heard every day, especially from customers who have no real connection to bees or honey. They ask for the best honey. Which is the best honey? Money doesn't seem to play a role here, because unlike price-conscious customers at discounters, these honey fans are more than willing to dig deeper into their wallets. A jar of honey can cost ten, fifteen or more euros.
However, the term "best" cannot really be defined correctly, because whether the honey is top quality or not is only decided by the taste test. And only then does the honey taste good or not.
Things are different in the laboratory, where it is possible to measure exactly how high the water content in the honey is and how much pollen from which plant species is present in the honey. With some effort, laboratory tests can also be used to determine whether the honey has been adulterated, incorrectly labeled or sweetened. Unfortunately, the human tongue and sense of taste cannot do such analyses.
Very often the question of the best also - or primarily - relates to the health aspect. Many customers want to buy the "healthiest" honey at the same time as they buy the best honey. Is blossom honey healthier than forest honey? Is Manuka Honey as Healthy as My Neighbor Said? Can honey cure a disease and if so, which honey should I take? Even after chemotherapy, many people come with the desire to buy healthy honey. It is known that honey can have positive properties on the body, but the reliable knowledge about the effects of honey is unfortunately limited. Every once in a while, studies come out that claim honey can help with colds and flu. When it comes to wound healing, too, it is certain that honey can accelerate the healing process. But everything beyond that goes into the mystical. Even if this and that can be achieved under laboratory conditions, the hoped-for effect of honey cannot be transferred one-to-one to humans. Above all, slogans raise unfulfillable expectations of honey such as antibacterial, antiviral, anti-corona and similar things. Incidentally, this is also the reason why foodstuffs such as honey may not be advertised with health-related claims throughout the EU. The authority (at least the magistrate here in Vienna) checks whether health information or promises of healing are being advertised and there are warning associations and lawyers who can demand a cessation in the name of consumer protection. For example, this can be very expensive for a beekeeper who advertises "healthy honey" on the Internet.
So we go back to the initial question about the best honey and have to realize that we should actually focus on enjoyment. Because it is well known that good taste cannot be argued with, not even with a lawyer.
We, who are allowed to taste honey every day, naturally have our favorite and preferred types of honey. Our ranking (purely subjective) of the best honeys currently looks like this:
1. Blossom organic honey from Weingut Wien Cobenzl: raw organic honey, harvested only once a year, apiaries in the vineyards above the city, strong, sweet taste, initially still liquid, but after a few days the honey begins to solidify and change color.
2. Lavender honey from France: white, creamy blossom honey from lavender in Provence with a heavenly good taste, keeps its consistency for a long time and is ideal as a breakfast spread. Unfortunately, lavender honey is rarely available in Austria, especially in supermarkets and is therefore more expensive than ordinary blossom honey.
3. Chestnut honey from Piedmont: dark brown, viscous, very strong blossom honey from top-quality sweet chestnuts that grow in Piedmont. This chestnut honey is not sweet, on the contrary it is tart and has a nutty finish. The taste stays in the mouth for a long time. We use this honey to sweeten salads and to accompany mozzarella or feta cheese.
And of course there is also tail light when it comes to honey, i.e. honey that we do not necessarily need, appreciate or would even use at home (again, from a purely subjective point of view):
1. Buckwheat honey, whether solid or liquid, whether from Austria or Eastern Europe, the smell is enough to spoil your appetite for honey
2. Acacia honey, always liquid with a light color and a slightly greenish tinge, but unfortunately completely tasteless and therefore not suitable for gourmets
3. Dandelion honey, always has a firm to creamy consistency and unfortunately a bit cheesy taste. This real spring blossom honey from dandelion has nothing to do with the often offered dandelion syrup, which is wrongly declared as honey.
It is in the nature of things that this ranking can change at any time. A few years ago we would have seen pressed honey, among other things, at the forefront. However, the search for the best honey is based on taste. For this reason we invite you to get a taste of honey for yourself. And preferably before you buy the honey, because nobody likes to buy a pig in a poke. We always have some samples ready, ask for a tasting the next time you visit the shop and see for yourself what the best honey is.