You may have heard the song by Van Morrison, but have you tried the real deal? Tupelo honey sings a song of sunlight and spring flowers in the American South, and it's one of the finest examples of raw honey we’ve tasted.
The tupelo tree (Nyssa ogeche)—also known as Ogeechee tupelo, white tupelo, river gum and river lime—is native to North America and now grows in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Tupelo trees bloom from March to May, when dense clusters of small white flowers emerge. The flower clusters hang low after swelling with nectar, attracting bees and other wildlife.
Those lucky enough to taste Georgia Tupelo Honey can expect a mild, buttery flavor with a gentle tang and a hint of peaches. It generally maintains a smooth texture and a distinctive medium amber color. Take a bite, close your eyes and try to pinpoint the flavor undertones, which can include pear, jasmine and hops.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, crystallized honey is beautiful and misunderstood. That said, Tupelo's resistance to crystallization makes it particularly convenient for cooking and baking.
Pair Tupelo with an aged, crumbly cheese or slather over buttermilk biscuits. Stir it into iced tea and, when the mood strikes, make a batch of honey cocktails.
FLASH RECIPE: Tupelo Honey Syrup
Combine equal parts water and Georgia Tupelo Honey in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for just a few seconds, then remove the bowl and stir to combine. You're done! Use in cocktails, smoothies and iced tea.
Like all raw honey, Tupelo honey has several well established health benefits. For centuries people have turned to raw honey for the topical treatment of minor wounds and burns, and as an antibacterial agent to promote overall health. Raw honey has antioxidants and contains helpful trace elements and minerals, such as cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Tupelo’s smooth texture makes it particularly nice straight out of the jar as a natural remedy. Try it to treat minor digestive discomfort and soothe sore throats