Crystallization is a natural process that does not change the quality of honey in any way. The crystallization of artisanal unprocessed honey can occur more quickly than that of commercial honey (i.e., from a few days to a few months). Crystallized honey is perfectly fine to eat.
Did you know that honey is oversaturated with natural sugars produced by the bees from the nectar of flowers? Different factors influence crystallization. Namely, honey is mainly composed of glucose and fructose. Depending on the floral sources, the proportions of glucose and fructose vary. Glucose crystallizes faster than fructose, so honey that contains more glucose will tend to crystallize faster.
A low temperature can also speed up crystallization. Most varieties will harden faster if it is cold during transport. Store your honey at room temperature with a lid closed to keep it liquid longer. Do not put the honey in the refrigerator as this will accelerate its crystallization.Raw crystallized honey can be very pleasant in the mouth. Its texture can be akin to that of caramel or maple butter. It is also very interesting to add texture to your cheese pairing.
Our honeys are not processed, so never pasteurized, homogenized, or ultra-filtered. Therefore, they will harden over time, as they contain tiny pieces of pollen, wax, or propolis. The consistency of the same variety of honey may vary from one order to the next. We don't want to work against nature; our honey is as nature intended, sometimes liquid, sometimes frozen.
Is artisanal honey different?
If you prefer liquid honey
There are easy ways to soften or liquefy congealed honey. The main thing is to not overheat it! Therefore, never heat it in the microwave!
Place the vial upright in a glass or a small saucepan and pour hot water around it. Make sure the water is not boiling. This will help soften the honey. It is possible that it is necessary to reheat the water a few times depending on the density of the crystallized honey. Make sure the cap is closed to prevent water from getting inside the vial.
If the honey has turned liquid but is still cloudy, the honey will harden again, and the process may need to be repeated. If you want to extend this period, make sure the honey is completely clear before stopping the process.