Oh Honey, Honey

Expiration dates in the U.S. have always bothered me – I don’t remember my parents ever having thrown away food that showed “expired” on the label. While I will never discard something edible because I have had it for a certain amount of time, my husband and I printed a useful sheet with general guidelines of how long food remains edible if stored on the counter, in the fridge or kept frozen.

Imagine my surprise, when next to honey the table showed an infinity symbol. Apparently, honey, in normal conditions, doesn’t spoil. Ever.

Now, if refrigerated or if the moisture level drops significantly, honey will granulate, such as in the left picture below. Both jars came from my pantry and to tell you the truth crystallized honey works great to sweeten hot tea or even to eat with butter on bread (don’t judge). The coarser texture adds a dimension and seems to slightly change the flavor profile.

Crystallized Honey (left) and Liquid Honey
Crystallized Honey and Liquid Honey

Honey, due to it’s high sugar concentration, does not allow for the collection of water. When moisture comes in contact with honey, the supersaturated hygroscopic solution absorbs it, killing all microorganism responsible for creating bacterial growth, yeast and fungal spores, causing the substance to never spoil. Now, a lot more chemistry and biology goes into making honey and its properties, but the bottom line is – honey stays edible forever. Lidded honey jars  dating back to 1800 B.C. were found in Egypt. Apparently, humans used honey more than 5,500 years ago in Georgia:

For everyone loving all-natural remedies, check this out:

Apparently, pure honey could work almost as well as the Neosporin® in your cabinet.