I am Winnie the Pooh when it comes to my love for honey. I can eat a jar with a spoon and it's my go-to to add to everything from salad dressings, hot tea, cold tea, sherbets and sometimes even coffee (do not try this at home). One of the questions I get a lot is, where to find preservative-and additive-free, real honey that isn't molten sugar. And so, I set out to find just that. Backed with research and experience, here are the best honey brands to stock up your pantry with.
The term 'single estate' is no longer a catchphrase, and neither exclusively reserved for cacao beans and coffee, because today, it's relevant for honey too. Homegrown label Maaticha has tapped into this market and is a leading producer of organic honey. From a monofloral honey, which has mixed sweet notes to a tulsi variant that is sourced from bees feeding on tulsi-flower nectar, and wild jamun honey collected responsibly from bees feeding on jamun and wild flower, this brand has it all. Their goal is to promote small farmers and tribal families to share their harvests with a global audience. To order: visit Maaticha
Loaded with pistachios, almonds and cashew nuts, Madhudhara honey is chock-o-block with dried fruits and is best enjoyed as a spoonful added to your breakfast bowl. What makes this brand stand out is the research that they conduct to preserve its authenticity and make it sustainable. In fact, they employ methods popular in New Zealand to collect honey, providing separate compartments to collect honey and for the bees to lay eggs. This ensures that there are no impurities or residue eggs in the product. To order: visit Madhudhara Honey
North East India is a treasure trove of wild food and produce and one brand that is putting a spotlight on ingredients for the region is Zizira.Their honey varieties include flavours like bhut jolokia, turmeric twist, stingless bee honey, ginger-infused honey and more. Each jar of Zizira's honey is packed with unique flavour and is perfect for daily cooking and in hot teas. To order: visit Zizira
Mumbai-based brand Brawny Bear is the ultimate solution for all vegan honey-lovers (no, honey naturally is not vegan). The fun label is committed to creating a healthy and plant-based version of the much-loved sweetener and does so by using dates as the key ingredient. To order: visit Brawny Bear
Sonal Ved is the editor at IFN. She is also an author of an award-winning cookbook called Tiffin. She travelled through the first five tastes to be able to tell between a brie and provolone dolce. She can make stellar undhiyu and a green smoothie.