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Nov 12, 2009 03:45 PM

Should I refrigerate this particular honey?

I usually keep honey in a pantry cupboard, but I picked up a little jar of some honey at my local cookware shop today that comes from an esoteric blossom in Hawaii that grows only in black volanic ash. (Pfffffffffft.) It's got more of a whipped honey or honey-cream consistency, it has no preservatives, and it says it was never heated or filtered. Naturally, I had to sample a little bit of it as soon as I got home, and now that the jar's been opened, should I keep it in the refrigerator? The label doesn't say, either way.

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  1. I have never refrigerated honey, filtered or not, and have never had any go bad.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pikawicca

      Okay, thanks, pikawicca. Good to know; I'd prefer to keep it in the cupboard, anyway.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. honey is one of the few food that can last _forever_ (*) at normal room temperature.

        And if you put it in the fridge, every time you will want to eat some, you will get a a jar full of rock-solid honey and will spend time to mellow it in on the counter ... heck, that's one way to make it last !! :-)

        (*) forever is a very long time! but you get the idea!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Maximilien

          LOL, yes, I do, Maximilien. I don't want it to last *quite* forever, anyway. I have to have an excuse to try a different variety, after all.

          I knew chilling honey usually isn't good, re the solidity, but this one isn't liquid in its normal state, anyway. It's more like the substance of vaseline. Thanks; I'll follow you advice and pikawicca's on this.

        2. Unless the honey has been cooked, there's no need to refrigerate it. Refrigerating it won't hurt it, altho it could crystallize. If you cook it to dissolve the crystals, however, you'll NEED to refrigerate it, because it'll lose it's anti-bacterial qualities from cooking.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ricepad

            Thank you, ricepad. That's very interesting, and good to know.

            1. re: ricepad

              The OP's honey is already creamy in appearance, hence crystallized. Creamy honey is made by adding a very small amount of creamy starter (very fine grained crystallized honey) and the new batch will slowly follow the crystal pattern.

              Cooked or uncooked, any type of honey is anti-bacterial. Too sweet for bacteria or yeast to thrive. No need to refrigerate. Cooking it is unnecessary and kills off pollen traces.

            2. If it has a creamy consistency, the honey has been whipped but not necessarily heated. The process creates very fine crystals and allows the honey to become spreadable. Don't refrigerate it but use it up as soon as possible because the special qualities of the blossom will fade with time, even though the honey is still perfectly good to eat.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Nyleve

                It states on the label that it's never been heated. I plan to use it when I need a touch of honey in braises, etc. (That's about all I use honey for, anyway, Nyleve, except for the *very* occasional baked good recipe.) And you're right, Nyleve, it does look and feel as though it's been whipped, although it's not so labeled.

                1. re: Normandie

                  In Canada, they usually call this type of honey "creamed". Sounds a bit too special to just use in braises or baking. I'd just spread it on toast or biscuits with good butter. You'll almost certainly lose all the subtlety in flavour when you cook or bake with it.