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The different types of Quebec honey: how to distinguish them?

Les différents types de miel québécois: comment les distinguer?

Have you ever found yourself in that situation, where you're standing in front of the honey section at the grocery store and wondering "but what to choose from all these different types of honey?!"

Summer honey, clover honey, buckwheat honey… What are the differences? Do they have distinct benefits and taste profiles?

Let’s explore the different types of Quebec honey to better understand this delectable product from our region!

Monofloral honeys VS polyfloral honeys

First, we must distinguish two distinct categories of honey, if we wish.

First there are monofloral honeys, which are concocted with the pollen and nectar of a type of flower. We therefore think of clover honey, cornflower honey, buckwheat honey, etc.

Monofloral honeys therefore have very distinct flavors and colors from what each flower gives them. For example, cornflower honey is an amber color and has a fruity, slightly spicy taste. Buckwheat honey has a much darker color and more robust, even farmy, aromas.

Polyfloral honeys are, conversely, the product of an assembly of flowers, which are in season when bees collect their nectar.

Thus, spring honey will present color, aromas and flavors of the flowers that arrive in this season. And the same for summer honey, autumn honey, etc.


It is also possible to find honeys made by certain beekeepers by letting different plants macerate to create honeys with interesting properties.

For example, the Miel Fontaine company located in Sainte-Cécile-de-Milton near Granby, in addition to making more “traditional” honey, also makes “ fir honey ” and “ wild tea honey ” by creating infusions with these plants. Thus, honey gains properties that it could not have otherwise.

Liquid honey, raw honey or churned honey?

You also need to know how to distinguish liquid honey from raw honey and churned honey (also called creamed honey).

The only real difference is that liquid honey is heated at a low temperature to give it this property. Raw raw honey, on the other hand, has simply not been heated. Its color and opacity come from the natural crystallization of honey. In addition, not having been filtered, it maintains the virtuous properties of pollen, propolis and wax residues which add to its benefits.

Churned or creamed honey is made by churning liquid honey, usually pale in color, to give it a tempting beige-cream color.

While liquid honey is ideal for using in your recipes, salad dressings, teas and herbal teas, raw honey and creamed honey are ideal options for spreading on bread or your desserts.

Is pasteurized honey better?

The quick answer to this question: no, pasteurized honey is not preferred. The process of pasteurizing honey involves heating it to the point where natural crystallization becomes impossible. But as a result, all the benefits of honey are eliminated. Pasteurized honey therefore offers much fewer health benefits than artisanal honey.

Pasteurization, however, prevents the development of botulism , a rare poisoning that can be dangerous for children under 2 years old and pregnant women. On the other hand, it is largely not recommended for people at risk to consume honey in its entirety, whether pasteurized or not.

Discover the different types of artisanal honey in Quebec

Curious to learn more about honey and how it is made? Discover Quebec beekeeping by participating in our “Discover Granby: The Sweet Walk” excursion !

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