Honeycomb is honey still contained in the bee produced matrix of wax cells that they use for storage. Some people prefer it because it is less processed than most jarred honeys and they feel it has a purer flavor. The honey can be easily removed from the comb for use as you would jarred honey. However, honey comb is also completely edible, and many people enjoy chewing on the comb. Usually people do not actually swallow the wax, but instead spit it out once they've extracted all of the honey flavor. Frame-packaged honeycomb (aka comb honey) is as unprocessed as honey gets. The square frame that this honey comb comes in is actually a part of the hive box where the bees live. Comb honey producing hives have a modular design with frames that can be lifted out and sold as soon as the bees finish filling them with honey and capping the cells. Thus, when buying framed comb honey you are buying honey that has never been cut or processed apart from packaging. New Zealand honey is widely regarded to be some of the best tasting and purest honey available, due in part to the low levels of pollution and population density in that part of the world.
Storage: Store honeycomb frames horizontally rather than vertically. Keep them in their original packaging or in air-tight containers in a cool, very dry cupboard. If crystals form, they can be dissolved by gently heating the honey on the stove.
Shelf Life: Honeycomb will stay fresh as long as it doesn't absorb too much moisture. Leaving it sealed in its comb will help prevent this from happening.
Comb honey can be sliced into cubes and served with toothpicks as part of a cheese platter or appetizer. Some people like to spread it on toast (you may have to heat it a little first to make it spreadable). Once extracted from the comb, the honey can be used in any application where you'd use jarred honey. To extract the honey for use without the comb, first cut the comb out of the frame. Some people try to slice the capped end off the comb, others smash the comb, but the most elegant method is to use heat. Slowly heat comb honey in a pot on the stove just until the wax melts completely (beeswax melts at around 144-147 degrees). Remove it from the heat, and let it cool. The melted beeswax will rise to the top and form a solid raft or cap that you can easily remove and discard.Honey Recipes
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