Raw honey is the best honey
It is a fact that most of the honey offered at the major retail chains is progressively drifting away from the concept of "natural honey" and more often than not resembles a sweet mixture labeled "honey". It is market interests and greed that cause people to mix that natural elixir with chalk, sugar, corn fructose, or to add artificial sweeteners, flavor enhancers, fragrances and other known and unknown ingredients that could make it even harmful. Last but not least comes melting of crystallized honey (done boldly and recklessly) for better commercial presentation, because of which the majority of honey valuable ingredients remain mere words in honeypedia.info.
It is a fact that real honey crystallizes (granulates) after a certain period of time, but we should bear in mind that honey with supplements or sugar added crystallizes as well. On the other hand, degustation or the sense of taste alone can by no means provide us with a reliable picture. In sunflower honey, for example, which is absolutely natural, pure and intact, a taste of sugar might be discerned, which could become even more tangible once the honey crystallizes because of the high level of glucose. This may give rise to groundless suspicions and implicit accusations against the honey-producer in an insufficiently informed customer who, after all, is not obliged to be familiar with all of the different types of honey. This "sugar taste" is one of the reasons why sunflower honey is highly underestimated, despite its exceptional qualities and beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system.
In practice, no matter what tricks and tips the Internet offers as to how to recognize real, natural honey, the truth is that there is no other way to make a distinction, except by a laboratory analysis, which is not likely to happen unless the consumer has his/her own laboratory. Everything else leaves us with a kind of a halfway idea, and at times could be even misleading, not to mention that falsifications tend to become more subtle and by the testing methods at home you will be able to identify only the explicit ones. However, here are some of the most popular and simple tests:
• Rub some honey between your fingers. If it is a natural honey, it will be absorbed by the skin which will remain "wet". If your fingers become too sticky and there are threads when trying to unstick them, the honey is fake, mixed with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
• Add a teaspoon of honey to a cup of water. If the honey is natural, it will heap up on the bottom. If not, it will immediately start to dissolve.
• Spread some honey on a piece of bread. If the slice hardens in a few minutes, the honey is good. If the bread gets wet, it is a sign that the honey has high water content.
As mentioned above, each of those home tests might give us just a partial idea, as, for example, thе latter can identify only the water content, not the composition of honey. Since honey is hygroscopic, it should absorb the moisture from the bread. If the honey contains water, the bread will get wet. Which could be misleading, as for the different varieties/kinds of honey, there are different standards for water content, and some other factors are involved – how much time has passed since honey extraction, whether it was completely mature during the extraction, etc.
Where to buy raw honey?
To make sure we will get the real product, we may go directly to a honey producer, though, unfortunately, bad practices tend to creep there as well - yet not so blatantly for the moment. The surest way to consume pure honey is to produce it yourselves. Or you could avoid the fake stuff by not buying honey from supermarkets, large retail chains, or honey that has been exposed to direct sunlight on shop windows/stalls.
The good news is that in Bulgaria there are a lot of beekeepers per capita, outside the official statistics, and it is very likely that you have at least one such acquaintance whom you may trust.
Avoiding big retail chains, answers 50% of the question "Where to buy raw honey?". Implementig the little tricks, mentioned above, gives you the other part of the picture, because small producers (beekeepers) more often than not, could NOT succeed in faking it well.
There is lot of honey for sale, hopefully you are already well-informed buyer.