If you’re a honey lover like I am, then it’s hard to get enough of that unique natural sweetness.
Believe it or not, there are thousands of varieties from all over the world so as much as I would love to, tasting them all in one lifetime isn’t going to happen!
So despite all the honey I’ve consumed over the years, I know I’m nowhere close to scratching the surface of everything that’s out there.
I have a particular preference for dark honey – the subtle differences from one type to the next leave my tastebuds wanting more of those distinct varietal flavors. However, if you have a hardcore sweet tooth, then the darker varieties might not be for you.
They’re often a little more tangy, and occasionally even a tad bitter but otherwise, absolutely divine.
So if you’re ready to learn more, I’ve gathered up a short list of my favorite types of dark honey for you to check out below.
I hope you enjoy it!
1. Avocado Honey
If you thought the best thing growing on avocado trees was the fruit, think again!
The blossoms of the tree are also responsible for this wonderful variety of dark honey. While it doesn’t taste like the fruit, some of the essence is still there hidden just beneath the natural sweet flavor. You’ll notice that familiar buttery richness avocados are known for.
Today, avocado honey is cultivated in Central America despite having its origins in Southern Mexico.
|Avocado Honey||Dark honey made from avocado tree blossoms that has a natural sweet flavor with a hint of the buttery richness of avocados.||Southern Mexico||Central America|
2. Beechwood Honey
Hailing from the same country as the beloved kiwi, beechwood honey is produced in New Zealand. Sometimes called honeydew honey, it is a byproduct of sap bees collect from beechwood trees. Interestingly, it’s not the bark itself that produces the sap but aphids which are tiny bugs that extract sap from trees!
Beechwood honey has an extraordinary darkness and aroma, making it perfect for all kinds of recipes, from smoothies to pancake or waffle toppings – the possibilities are endless.
|Beechwood Honey||Honey made from sap collected by bees from beechwood trees in New Zealand, also known as honeydew honey.||New Zealand||Sap extracted by aphids from beechwood trees||Dark color and strong aroma, versatile in cooking|
3. Buckwheat Honey
Buckwheat honey is a domestic product of the United States and produced through the middle of the country in Minnesota and Wisconsin and the East Coast from Pennsylvania to New York.
Considered by many to be the darkest honey, it also possesses the strongest flavor profile. Because of this, buckwheat honey is often used in the production of mead, which is a type of alcohol made from the fermentation of honey.
Outside of the United States, buckwheat honey is also beloved by many in Europe where palates are more accustomed to the intense, aromatic flavor.
|Buckwheat Honey||Dark and strong flavored honey produced in the United States, mainly in the Midwest and East Coast.||United States||Midwest and East Coast||Dark, strong flavor||Used in mead production and popular in Europe|
4. Chestnut Honey
Similar to the blossoms used to produce avocado honey, chestnut tree flowers produce a nectar that has made it one of the most popular types of honey in Italy.
While not as dark as other types, chestnut honey is amber and a little sweeter than others in the list. The chestnut tree lends a unique aroma with the harvest from some varietals having a more bitter taste than some might like.
All in all though, it’s a delectable addition to the lineup!
|Chestnut Honey||Amber honey produced from chestnut tree flowers, popular in Italy.||Italy||Amber color, unique aroma||Mildly sweet with a hint of bitterness from some varietals|
5. Dandelion Honey
Another New Zealand import, dandelion honey stands out amongst its brethren. The unique aroma of the dandelion is heavily present in this variety of strong honey. The use of dandelion honey as a medicinal herb has been going on for centuries in countries like China and India.
It’s easy to see why it’s so prized. A little sweet, with a mild tang, I can eat this stuff with a spoon!
|Honey Type||Origin||Aroma||Flavor||Medicinal Properties|
|Dandelion||New Zealand||Unique aroma of dandelion||Mild sweetness, mild tang||Used as medicinal herb for centuries in China and India|
6. Jarrah (Blackbutt) Honey
Although the jarrah tree is primarily used for its wood, the thick, dark honey produced by this native to Western Australia is equally prized.
The tree, also known as Eucalyptus marginata, should clue you in as to the taste profile you’re in for when swallowing down this delectable honey.
Jarrah honey is known for its bold taste, containing notes of, you guessed it, eucalyptus!
Along with that refreshing burst of flavor, it also features a delicate caramel finish. Sometimes sold as blackbutt honey, jarrah honey is well worth adding to your list.
|Honey Type||Origin||Flavor||Tree Type||Tree Name|
|Jarrah (Blackbutt)||Western Australia||Bold taste with notes of eucalyptus and caramel finish||Tree primarily used for wood||Eucalyptus marginata|
7. Manuka Honey
Another New Zealand gem, manuka honey is harvested along the coastal areas and produced from the Tea Tree bush. Even though it’s on my list, there are some who find the flavor of manuka to be too medicinal for their liking. For others, like me, I find the distinctive taste just another reason I love the variety and uniqueness that only dark honey can offer.
|Honey Type||Origin||Flavor||Plant Type||Plant Name|
|Manuka||New Zealand||Distinctive and medicinal||Tea Tree bush||Manuka|
8. Pumpkin Blossom Honey
Attention pumpkin lovers…
Yes, I am looking at you!
Unfortunately, even though the name pumpkin describes the origin of this wonderful dark honey, it doesn’t mean it tastes like your favorite fall treat. But that’s perfectly fine with me since this honey, which is produced only once a year from the pumpkin blossom, is still scrumptious in its own right.
This dark honey variety has a light floral taste and makes it a unique type of of honey to use elsewhere. It pairs well with spicy or savory dishes and makes for a heavenly drizzle on fall favorites like sweet potatoes or yams.
This honey is hard to come by due to its seasonal nature and the fact that it’s not available worldwide. If you can get your hands on it, consider yourself fortunate!
|Honey Type||Origin||Flavor||Seasonal Availability||Pairs well with|
|Pumpkin Blossom||Produced from pumpkin blossom||Light floral taste||Once a year||Spicy or savory dishes and fall favorites like sweet potatoes or yams|
9. Red Gum Honey
Red gum honey is another eucalyptus based honey once again coming from Down Under. Australians are wild about this dark, premium honey with a distinctive thickness and mouthwatering taste. Similar to buckwheat honey, red gum honey makes a popular addition to certain types of recipes, especially breads.
|Honey Type||Origin||Flavor||Tree Type||Tree Name||Popular use|
|Red Gum||Australia||Distinctive thickness and mouthwatering taste||Eucalyptus||Red Gum||Popular addition to certain types of recipes, especially breads|
10. Rewarewa Honey
This floral variety of dark honey is produced from the brilliant red needles of the Knightia excelsa. The tree is native to New Zealand’s North Island and is typically found at lower elevations and in the forest of valleys dotting the Marlborough Sounds.
It’s distinctive dark red hue belies a delicious caramel-flavored honey finishing with slightly burnt notes. Rewarewa honey is widely used in hot beverages, and in recipes of all kinds, from sweet to savory and everything in between.
|Honey Type||Origin||Flavor||Plant Type||Plant Name||Popular use|
|Rewarewa||New Zealand||Caramel-flavored honey finishing with slightly burnt notes||Knightia excelsa||Rewarewa||Widely used in hot beverages and in recipes of all kinds, from sweet to savory and everything in between|
11. Wildflower Honey
Wildflower honey (aka “mixed floral”) is catchall term encompassing darker honey which comes from undefined sources. Although there are lighter varieties, the darker types of wildflower honey are notably tangier and richer than their fair-colored counterparts. In the end, the difference in flavor usually comes down to the blend of wildflowers being used.
|Wildflower Honey||Tangier and richer than light wildflower honey||Mixed floral||Encompassing darker honey which comes from undefined sources|
Hey there, I’m Melody! I’m a lifelong foodie and love talking about it to anyone who’s willing to listen (or read!) about my opinions. My favorite pastimes include cooking, eating my cooking and thinking about what I’m going to make next!