A Taste of Macadamia Magic

Posted on April 18, 2011 in Monthly Newsletters, Our Honey | Short Link
Macadamia nuts, shelled and whole

Macadamia nuts, shelled and whole

Some of you have been waiting for our Macadamia Honey for a long time. After two years of not producing Macadamia Honey, we are happy to offer it once again. 

Three weeks ago, we harvested an unusual blend of macadamia and kiawe honey – a combination that, in Hawaii marks the end of winter and a sudden turn to spring. 

Because the kiawe flower bloom started a month early, we moved the bees from an organic macadamia nut orchard into the Puako kiawe forest before we could extract the Macadamia Honey. And, before we were able to get the macadmia honey off the hives, the bees had already collected some kiawe honey; the result: a natural but unique blend we have never had before, capturing some of the bees’ winter surplus of Macadamia Honey and a hint of their first spring harvest of White Kiawe Honey – all in one jar!

Macadamia flowers and nuts

Macadamia flowers and nuts

This naturally blended Macadamia Kiawe Honey is truly a happy marriage of two honeys that has some very unique qualities; in fact, we’ve never tasted anything quite like it. Its full, fruity Macadamia Honey flavor (think warm caramel with a tropical tang) is quite different from the rich, round, neutral sweetness of our White Honey. But it isn’t like pure Macadamia Honey either, which has a deep bronze color and viscous liquid consistency. This honey does have a smooth buttery texture like our white kiawe honey, but it’s not as firm, and with an opaque amber sheen. What creates this unique texture?

 In our March newsletter, we talked about our fancy Silk Honey and how its exquisitely smooth texture is the result of microscopic crystals.    As we learned last month, texture is related to how the nectar crystallizes and crystallization is a result of the specific combination of different sugars present in the nectar.  This month, let’s look a little deeper into the relationship between nectars, sugars, crystals and honey texture. Many people know that honey is largely composed of sugar with small amounts of minerals and vitamins.  But not many people know that there are different kinds of sugar in honey – dextrose and levulose are the main sugars, along with sucrose, maltose, and at least 20 other more complex sugars.  Honeys from different flower (nectar) sources have different sugar compositions; and that’s the main reason why different honeys have different textures.

Crystallization in honey is a complex process, involving many other factors still not fully understood. From our understanding, it is the proportions of sugars that affect crystallization timing. Essentially, honey with a higher proportion of levulose to dextrose crystallizes more slowly, while honey with a lower proportion of levulose to dextrose crystallizes more quickly.  Most honeys have a high levulose to dextrose ratio and crystallize slowly over time, causing large gritty crystals to grow; honeys that crystallize quickly, on the other hand, grow tiny crystals.  Thus, the faster honey crystallizes the smaller its crystals, and the smaller the crystals the smoother the honey. Our White (kiawe) Honey crystallizes very quickly, within a couple days of bottling, due to its relatively high dextrose to levulose sugar ratio; this fast crystallization leads to its naturally thick, smooth, creamy texture. Macadamia flower nectar has less dextrose in relation to levulose, making it crystallize more slowly and typically remain liquid for about a year.

macnut_thThis year’s natural blend of a hint of kiawe honey in the Macadamia Honey is a unique mix of nectars and combination of sugars, resulting in a smooth, crystallized but soft-textured honey. Order a jar right now through our online store and get a taste of the macadamia magic, 100% organic and raw, while it lasts.

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2 Comments

  • Peter Martin says:

    Can you help me find any literature sources detailing the chemical composition of macadamia honey, such as the levels of the different sugars, glucose, fructose, sucrose, etc and the usual water content? What proportion of the pollen is from macadamia? I gather the pollen is relatively low in protein and isn’t the best source of protein for bees.
    Peter Martin
    Consultant to the honey industry

  • vihoney says:

    Aloha Peter,

    I apologize but at this time we are not able to aid you in your research. One thing to consider is even in the purest of mono crops, “the girls” (the bees) will always “mix it up” a little with other nectars and pollens.

    Mahalo,

    Donelle

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