If you've been looking for Kosher honey gifts but aren't sure where to start, you've come to the right place!
Kosher honey refers to honey that is produced and processed in accordance with Jewish dietary laws, known as kashrut. That means that the honey is free of non-kosher ingredients, and is processed in a facility that adheres to kosher standards. To be certified as kosher, honey must undergo specific processing procedures and be certified by a reputable kosher certification agency.
Is Honey Kosher Without a Hechsher?
The answer to this question is debatable, but what we found is that our customers who keep kosher, or share gifts for Rosh Hashanah with friends and family who keep kosher homes do a great deal of research to assure that our honey is kosher. Therefore, the majority of our customers require a hechsher (kosher certification) to be considered kosher.
Honey is a unique food item. In this blog, we will discuss the different types of honey and their kosher status, and whether or not honey needs to have a hechsher to be considered kosher.
Honey derives from the nectar of flowers, which is collected by bees to form honey. Bees are not kosher since they are not a land animal nor a fish with fins and scales. Nonetheless, the honey they produce is kosher if the bees only collect nectar from kosher flowers.
Wild honey does not require kosher certification.
If wild bees make honey from flowers growing in the wild, it does not need kosher certification. The rationale for this is that the honey is highly unlikely to contain non-kosher substances. However, it is essential to note that many commercial brands of honey are not wild honey made by wild bees.
Many commercial beekeepers (not us at Bee Inspired) feed their bees corn syrup or sugar-water, which, in turn, the bees turn into honey. If a beekeeper feeds their bees non-kosher ingredients such as corn syrup or sugar-water, then the resulting honey is not kosher unless they extract the honey before the bees transform the unkosher feed.
We, like many other brands work with kosher certifiers who determine the kosher status of the honey. In our case, we work with "Star K". This means that Star K investigate how the bees were fed and ensure they only gathered from kosher flowers. They also assess the equipment used and the manufacturing process. If the honey brand is certified kosher, it will have a hechsher symbol that denotes that the honey is kosher. This is the most reliable way to determine if honey is kosher.
Not only does the honey and manufacturing process adhere to Kosher dietary rules, it offers a taste that's simply divine. It's a game-changer in the world of sweetness!
It is important to understand that there are different opinions on whether or not honey requires kosher certification. Some consider honey to be kosher, regardless of how it was made. Others argue that honey needs to come from a reliable kosher source. Nonetheless, for those who follow the traditional Jewish laws of kashrut, it is best to stick to purchasing honey with a reliable hechsher.
Kosher Honey Comes with Blessings
While honey by nature is Kosher, certified Kosher honey — the kind that is acceptable for use among Jewish communities — is only Kosher when an organization like Star-K says so.
Check their database and search for "honey" and "waxing kara" and you'll see that we've gone through the certification process and have become kosher fied.
In the summer 2017, we went through the certification process for all of our varietal and artisanal Eastern Shore Honey. Certification by Star-K came about after weeks of emails, phone calls, and inspections of our production facilities. Currently, we have 15 varietals of honey suitable for every need and taste.
Honey and the Jewish Faith
Honey is a central part of Judaic culture and has been since the writing of the Old Testament, where Israel is described as the land of milk and honey. Historically, honey symbolizes strength, survival, and of course, sweetness. We couldn't agree more!
The most popular time of the year to consume honey is the Rosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year. To celebrate, we dip both apples and challah (bread) into honey as a part of tradition. It's argued that apples, a symbolic Biblical fruit (think: The Garden of Eden), possess healing powers and honey represents hope in a sweet new year.
At Bee Inspired, Our Honey is Pure, Raw, and Minimally Filtered
Being free from additives is a big part of Kosher certification. It's important to have a Honey House that doesn't allow outside food into the processing area too. The extraction and processing methods must also comply with certain standards, ensuring there are no cross-contaminations involved.
Bees themselves are not considered Kosher...but their honey is! This can be a little confusing since honey comes from bees. They transport plant nectar in an extra storage stomach to carry to the hive. However, much of the process of creating honey happens within the comb itself, making the final product Kosher.
Our Favorite Kosher Honey
Spring Honey is light, floral, and grassy-perfectly reminiscent of the season. Autumn Honey is earthier and rich, with a sweetness that reflects the asters, goldenrod, and daisies of the later months of the flower season.
Not Sure What to do with Kosher Honey
Try using our delicious honey in your favorite recipes. On our we post weekly creations for anyone to try. Eastern Shore Honey is so useful in desserts, main courses, and even your favorite cocktails! It's healthier to use than processed sugar and is loaded with micro-nutrients and antioxidants.
Here are just a few of our favorites:
- Focaccia Bread Art
- Lavender Honey Lemon Cake
- Cranberry Orange Biscotti
- Honey Banana Bread
- Healthy Coffee Cake
What is Kosher Honey?
Kosher honey has been certified kosher under rabbinic supervision that complies with all that is required to meet kosher standards. Honey is kosher if it is free of bee parts, never reaches temperatures above 120 degrees, and is free from any additives. Honey is not Kosher if it is not certified under rabbinic supervision.
Is Honey Parve?
Yes, honey is generally considered parve in Kosher dietary laws because it is neither dairy or meat.
As Kosher diets require the two food groups to be eaten separately, fare is designated as dairy, meat or parve. Honey is derived from bees and is neither dairy nor meat, making it a neutral food. Our Kosher honey is considered to be parve!
What Makes Honey Not Kosher?
While honey is generally considered naturally Kosher, there are a few scenarios where it may not make the cut:
- Non-Kosher additives: Honey is processed with non-Kosher additives, such as flavorings or sweeteners.
- Non-Kosher bee byproducts: Some certifications require the beekeeping process to ensure that the bees are not fed non-Kosher substances or byproducts.
- Production process: The processing of honey may involve non-Kosher equipment or facilities that can lead to cross-contamination.
It's important to note that Kosher certification organizations inspect and supervise the production and processing of honey to ensure it meets their specific standards. Remember to look at Star-K's website to ensure that the honey you want to purchase is in fact Kosher!