The best quality honey by far is raw honey, so it is important when you go out to buy it; you get your money’s worth of product. What I mean by raw honey is that it is not heated and not filtered.
When a jar of raw honey gets stored for a long period it will become a hard substance. The color will also change from shining syrup, to a dull white color. This could be an indicator in the search for true raw honey.
It is very important to know that it loses some of its valuable properties when heated extensively. In order to make a jar of honey look nice and presentable on a shelf, and give it that golden shining color, it needs to undergo a process.
Two Reasons why honey needs to be heated in order to make it more presentable:
1) Boiled honey will not lose the syrup texture. Some shopkeepers are not very educated in selecting good quality and will think there is something wrong when the it changes texture and will even send it back to the supplier when it became sugary thick and white. This is how beekeepers realized that if they boil the honey it would not change texture, and would have “a long shelf life”.
2) Another advantage of boiled honey is that it can be filtered through a very fine filter, which gives it an even shinier, golden look. During the production process of extracting honey from the comb, there might be some small particles of wax that end up in the honey. This could be removed by filtering it through a very fine filter, which can only be done by heating. So, the result will be very pleasing to the eye but it will not have the same intrinsic value as the honey that was not heated.
If you go out to buy raw honey, look for it to be white and hard. Just be aware that honey that is freshly harvested will not be like this. Therefore, the best way to buy is to know a beekeeper and ask him. Honey in a comb will usually be raw, since the comb will melt when it gets heated up. This will be visible.
Raw honey in the hard, sugary texture could safely be melted by putting the jar in direct sunlight for a few hours, or into hot water, or even a safe distance from an open fire. It is not recommended to boil it, or to warm it up in microwave.
Buy raw honey, it is a gift from nature.