There are over 300 types of honey available in the United States. Each type of honey has a different color, texture and flavor. Clover and alfalfa honey have many similarities, as well as distinctions that make them useful for different purposes. You can best appreciate their differences by tasting several styles of clover and alfalfa honey side by side. Blends of clover and alfalfa honey are also available. Both clover and alfalfa honey have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Consult with your doctor before using honey to help manage a medical problem.
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Red, alsike and sweet yellow and white clovers are the key varieties responsible for clover honey production. Clover honeys range in color from nearly white to rich amber. The flavor is generally mild and sweet, with a light, buttery aroma and a note of cinnamon spice. Clover is the most common flower for honey production in the United States.
The purple blossoms of alfalfa plants result in honey with a light color, mild aroma and gentle flavor. Alfalfa honey can be slightly less sweet than clover honey. It is also less common than clover honey, as it is more difficult for bees to pollinate the alfalfa flower. Alfalfa honey is produced across the United States and throughout Canada. While research about alfalfa honey is inconclusive, some people believe that it helps them to manage symptoms of PMS, digestive issues and kidney problems.
Best Uses for Clover Honey
Try clover honey drizzled over goat cheese as a casual but elegant dessert. Spoon it over Greek yogurt as a counterpoint to the yogurt's tang. Find artisanal varieties of clover honey at your local farmer's market. Sample several types of clover honey to enjoy the range of aromas and subtle flavors each variety imparts.
Best Uses for Alfalfa Honey
Alfalfa honey complements homemade granola beautifully. It can also be a grassy, sweet element in the vinaigrette for a fresh salad of baby greens. Dip fried tofu or chicken pieces in a mixture of mustard and alfalfa honey for a sauce both children and adults will love. Add it to spicy barbecue sauce for a sweet, complex glaze.