Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Why does honey crystallize?

If you have recently opened your pantry to discover your honey has turned into a thick and cloudy crystallized goo, you are not alone. Why does this happen? And does this mean your honey is bad?

Stored properly, honey can last several years. The main reason honey doesn't go bad is because it is a simple composition of sugar with very little water, which makes it inhospitable to bacteria and yeast. However, the natural dryness of honey can also lead to crystallization. This can happen anywhere from a few weeks to a few months after honey has been bought and can be accelerated by cool temperatures. My house, affectionately named "the igloo" by my friends who bring multiple sweatshirts when they come to dinner parties, is kept at a delightful 64 degrees F. Honey is best kept around 70 degrees F.

Crystallization isn't a bad thing and can be remedied by placing honey container in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes. However, honey loses its color and aroma if heated and cooled too many times.

If you are still curious about the wonders of honey, click on the below link for the above content and more.
http://www.scienceline.org/2007/04/09/ask-westly-crystallizedhoney/

And to my dear friends who refer to my house as the igloo: I am happy to report that the small pantry, adjacent to heating ducts, provides an ideal place for my honey and prevents it from crystallizing. So although I won't make adjustments to the thermostat for the honey, I definitely will for you all. Love to each of you, you know who you are. I'm so thankful to have all of you in my life!

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3 comments:

MrsSpock said...

Yes, you are talking about me! Just how many years is honey good for?

Diane said...

I'd be happy to sleep next to a warm heating duct too..

Valerie Schneeberger said...

A friend told me they found honey in an Egyptian tomb that was still good. :)

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