Honey is one of those rare, naturally occurring foods that surpasses any man-made alternative. What other food, organic or otherwise, contains such a potent combination of flavor, nutrition, and health benefits beyond what science can grasp?
It’s an amazing topic to explore, especially when you realize the variety. There are thousands of honey variations worldwide; among them, manuka honey is a superstar. We know it’s expensive, but what justifies the cost of this “liquid gold”?
This honey is native to New Zealand and parts of Australia and has tons of unique features and benefits. Let’s learn more and discover why the manuka honey New Zealand provides is some of the best on planet earth – and worth the price.
Origins and Geography
We know vaguely where Manuka comes from, but what about its origins makes it so special? Firstly, Manuka honey originates from the “golden triangle” region of northern New Zealand, a land densely populated by wildlife and rainforest.
Manuka honey is unique, as it can only be created in this rich natural environment. In other words, you won’t be finding manuka honey produced in American factories with corn syrup and added sugars.
From a technical standpoint, manuka honey is produced only from the nectar of the colorful manuka tree, a version of the tea tree. Only European honey bees can forage and create the distinct manuka honey from these trees, adding another layer of complexity to the equation.
Finally, manuka honey is taken seriously by regulatory organizations like the UMF Honey Association. Like Italian olive oil and French wine, strict standards are applied to the generation and distribution of manuka honey to keep everything in order.
This contributes to the cost of manuka honey since production must be limited to ensure quality.
Manuka Honey Flavor
With the basics out of the way, let’s talk flavor. What does manuka honey taste like, and how does this factor into its popularity and price?
This honey is one of the most expensive, so it must be the sweetest in the world, right? It’s a bit more complicated than that since manuka is revered for its complex flavors rather than pure sweetness and purity.
To the average honey consumer, it may be odd to discover that connoisseurs value honey for qualities other than sweetness. With manuka, the flavor profiles are highly diverse, and it has been described as “earthy” and “herbaceous,” even with a “slightly bitter” flavor.
It might not sound compelling to a honey amateur, but to gourmets and industry experts, manuka is unmatched in terms of flavor and overall appeal.
Think of manuka honey like tasting a glass of wine or eating an oyster. It’s an experience meant to be savored, and no two tastes are alike. Enjoying honey becomes something more exciting and exploratory rather than a simple snack component.
Health Benefits of Manuka
It’s fair to say that manuka is an acquired taste, but the health benefits are where this honey shines. Even the most basic kinds of honey are proven to help boost immunity and provide clean, natural energy, but manuka takes those capabilities to a whole new level.
Most importantly, manuka honey is an antimicrobial powerhouse, combating bacteria on a molecular level within your body and protecting it from the inside out. Going into flu season, there’s no better way to shore up your natural defenses.
Manuka is also great as a recovery and relief tool when you’re already ill and feeling the symptoms. Mix some into your warm tea to experience the soothing sensation for your throat and stomach.
Speaking of the stomach, manuka honey has been shown to promote a balanced gut microbiome, which can’t be overstated as a general health indicator. When your gut is in good shape, the rest of your body’s systems can thrive.
Finally, manuka may have healing and anti-aging properties, as it promotes collagen, the building blocks of skin, hair, and nails. If honey can make you look and feel more youthful and energized, it’s clear why people are willing to pay a higher price.
How to Get and Use Manuka Honey
Shopping for manuka honey shouldn’t be a hassle. Just be sure that your chosen brand has the official license of the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA), and you will know that you’re in good hands.
The top brands offer a range of honey products with varying potencies and prices, so start with some basics and work your way up. It won’t be long before you’re hooked on the liquid gold and share the glory with family and friends.
Discover the Best Honey Available
There’s a lot to love about manuka honey, from the natural history to the endlessly satisfying flavors. Get your first taste ASAP and see what you uncover for yourself.