The 2016 tupelo harvest is here! It’s some of the best tupelo honey we’ve harvested in many years. Check out the light green cast as we pour the honey into barrels during the extraction process. Buy it now…supplies won’t last. We didn’t make very much. Click here to buy tupelo honey.
Tupelo Honey is one of the most popular Varietal Honeys. Varietal honeys are from a single food source and their purity depends upon the location of the hives as well as the time of harvest. Tupelo honey comes from a tree which grows only in wet swampy soil, such as in the Florida Panhandle. The blossoms on this tree are delicate and have a limited bloom each Spring. Pure White Tupelo honey has a unique flavor and a light greenish color. It is popular not only for its flavor but for its low glycemic index.
Varietal Honey comes from a single source. It is also known as monofloral honey and it is made predominantly from the nectar of only one type of flower. To produce monofloral honey, beekeepers must track when certain crops such as orange blossoms are flowering and plan the hive location as well as the timing of each honey harvest. Supermarket honeys are generally blended from many types of honey, as well as other sweeteners. Some are pasteurized. Varietal honeys, on the other hand, have their own distinct color and flavor. Within each variety of honey there can also be variations in the harvests from year to year, just as in wines. Monofloral honeys are best when they are raw, unpasteurized and unfiltered. They may contain pollen and wax which contribute to the texture and flavor of each honey.
One varietal honey is Tupelo Honey, popular for its bright crisp sweetness. From mid April to early May, the White Tupelo Trees bloom in the Florida Panhandle. The Tupelo trees require wet, swampy soil to thrive and the Apalachicola River in Florida is the center of Tupelo Honey production in the United States. The Latin name of this tree is Nyssa, which means water nymph. The popular name, Tupelo, derives from two Creek Indian words meaning tree (eto) and water (opelwu).
Each Spring beekeepers must strip all of the honey stores from each hive just as the Tupelo bloom begins. This assures that the harvest will be pure white Tupelo honey. The hives are then moved to riverbanks and swampy areas where the Tupelo trees grow. The Tupelo trees have a very short bloom time and the blossoms are particularly delicate and vulnerable to wind and rain. Just before the Tupelo bloom ends and other flowers begin to blossom, the hives are removed from the swamp and the honey is harvested. This is a very difficult uncertain and labor intensive process.
Not all Tupelo honey is created equal. Tupelo honey may naturally be mixed with other floral sources. For example, gallberry often blooms at the same time. There is also a black Tupelo tree that blooms a bit earlier in the Spring than the white Tupelo. The honey produced from these blossoms is not of the same as the honey produced from the white Tupelo. Many Tupelo honeys on the market are mixed, but those honeys will not have the clean beautiful light color — with just a hint of green — like the pure Tupelo honey. Notice the green color in the snapshot of Tupelo honey flowing during our most recent 2016 harvest.
Blended Tupelo honey will also tend to granulate, whereas pure white Tupelo honey will not. White Tupelo honey has the lowest level of sucrose of all honeys. The balance of sucrose to fructose is what keeps this honey from granulating. The low sucrose level also gives pure Tupelo honey a lower glycemic index than other honeys, making it the honey of choice for those concerned about diabetes and other blood sugar issues.
The Florida panhandle enjoyed a small but excellent 2016 harvest season for Tupelo Honey so there has never been a better time to try it.
In order to get the highest quality, pure white Tupelo honey, try Tupelo Honey from Winter Park Honey!Click here to buy Tupelo Honey.