If you’re a foodie who likes to explore new and exciting flavors, you may have already wondered: can you eat honeycomb? The answer is a resounding yes. There is something almost magical about the sweet yet slightly sour burst of flavor that comes from each bite-sized morsel. It has been enjoyed for centuries, and its rich history of being a coveted treat associated with celebrations lends it an extra layer of nostalgia — one that adds to its unique flavor profile even more.
Let's dive into everything there is to know about eating honeycomb: how it's made, where you can find it, and all the amazing ways you can enjoy this special delicacy. Grab your favorite spoon or piece of rustic and crusty bread, and let’s get started!
Can You Eat Honeycomb? Yes, You Can!
Eating honeycomb is a truly unique experience. Raw honeycomb is sliced right from the frames of a beehive and contains honey in its most natural form. Once chewed, the wax shell melts away, revealing the sweet and complex flavor of raw honey that is straight from nature. Not only a satisfying snack, it's good for you as it provides a wealth of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and natural enzymes in addition to its incredible flavor.
When tasting raw honeycomb it for the first time, people notice how different it tastes from store-bought honey that has been processed and filtered. The taste of is often described as earthy, floral, or even fruity due to the fact that bees collect nectar from various flowers to store in their hives. It also has a soft yet crunchy texture, making it perfect for spreading on toast or crackers.
Is Eating Honeycomb Safe?
It is perfectly safe to eat honeycomb! Of course, we don't recommend scarfing down a whole block, but having a chunk on your toast, over oatmeal, or in your tea is delicious now and then.
Fresh-made beeswax from the hive is soft and chewable. Raw honeycomb by itself is almost like chewing gum. Lots of our older customers tell us that they used to chew it right from their own grandparent's hives when they were children.
How Long Does Honeycomb last?
Honey and honeycomb are the perfect treats with an indefinite shelf life. If you want to store the comb between use, store it in your freezer. Remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for a few hours.
Benefits of Honeycomb
Eating Honeycomb is healthy in moderation. You can expect the same nutritional benefits from honeycomb as you do with honey. Athletes use it for energy before workouts and raw honey has even been proven to aid allergies.
If you are concerned about calories and carbohydrates, each ounce of honeycomb contains 115 calories, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 27 grams of sugar, and 1.5 grams of protein.
There are many other benefits of honeycomb to enjoy:
Nutritional value: It contains not only honey but also other beneficial components such as bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly. These substances are rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and other bioactive compounds. Consuming honeycomb can provide a natural and holistic source of nutrition, supporting overall health and well-being.
Skin care benefits: It's used in various skincare products due to its nourishing and moisturizing properties. It can be incorporated into homemade masks, scrubs, or soaps to promote healthy and glowing skin. Honeycomb's natural antibacterial properties may also help in combating acne and soothing skin inflammation.
Aids in digestion: Consuming honeycomb, along with the honey it contains, can support digestion. Honey is known for its prebiotic properties, meaning it serves as food for beneficial gut bacteria. This can help maintain a healthy gut microbiome and promote digestive health.
- In cooking: It can be enjoyed as a delicacy on its own or used as a sweetener and garnish in various culinary creations. The waxy texture and unique flavor of the honeycomb add an interesting element to dishes, desserts, cheese boards, or charcuterie platters.
Where Can I Buy Honeycomb?
Where Do We Source Our Honeycomb?
A beekeeper in Northern Pennsylvania responsibly harvests our honeycomb. We strictly source varietals that are harvested in the USA.
Usually, with a limited number of hives, beekeepers preserve the uncapped comb after harvest so that the bees have an easier time producing honey next season.
However, our beekeeper keeps many hives, which he designates for fresh virgin wax for comb packaging. Because he specializes in this art form, taking a small amount of comb doesn't impact the colony's health.
How is Honeycomb Made?
The honeybee has a gland that secretes wax. Bees are excellent housekeepers, and it is their instinct to pull the secreted wax off each other to keep their hives clean and orderly.
As they collect the wax, they make the comb working with the wax by chewing the wax and mixing it with propolis, pollen and honey to produce the structure.
The perfectly efficient hexagonal cells serve as strong storage vessels for honey and provide homes for the queen to lay her eggs and hatch young bees.
If you wondering how to eat honeycomb by itself, cut off a wedge from the comb with a spoon and enjoy it like candy. You can chew the wax as gum before spitting it out or in other ways.
How to Eat Honeycomb
You can eat honeycomb in various ways, and different comb types work better with different foods. The flora surrounding the hive determines the color and the flavor of the wax and the honey. Brand new wax is always very bright, and creamy white.
Depending on the color of the honey inside the comb, the flavor of the honey and the wax will taste different: darker honey is earthier, and lighter honey is often mild. Dark honey is delicious on rustic bread — lighter options pair well with cheese, fruit, and nuts on a charcuterie board.
Here are some specific recommendations for how to eat honeycomb:
Drop a chunk in your hot tea. The wax and honey melt into the tea, and I believe that this combination helps to soothe allergies.
Spread it over baked goods. Just cut off a chunk, and use a butter knife to smear it into crusty toast or warm bread. Fresh pumpkin muffins with a bit on top? Delicious! Fluffy, toasted bread with a bit of fresh comb? Divine.
A dehydrated comb may be used as a garnish on baked goods.
Drop a chunk or two over your oatmeal. It works beautifully on granola as well! Darker comb will give you a rich molasses-y flavor. If you want sweeter, floral honey, go for something lighter in color.
Add it to a a cheese platter or with a simple chunky salad. Paired with something more acidic and salty, like bleu or feta, honeycomb is incredible. The sweetness plays off the sharpness of these cheeses so well that you'll be addicted.
- Pair it with fruit. We like to use it with apples and pears. Speaking of pears, drop a chunk over our caramelized pears to make the dessert extra special!
How to Store Honeycomb
We sell ours in plastic cases that are air-tight. We still recommend storing them (for short-term storage) in a plastic bag after opening. It's honey, so it will make a little mess, which will be worth every minute!
We recommend long-term storage in the freezer. Pull it out the day before you use it and allow it to thaw. It may crystallize over time, but we think it adds to the texture.
How Do You Use Honeycomb?
What's your favorite way to enjoy the nectar of the bees? Have you enjoyed one of the many benefits of honeycomb? Next time you're looking for an exciting treat filled with flavor and health benefits, consider treating yourself (or someone else) to some delicious raw honeycomb!
Take a picture and tag us on Instagram. We always love to see what you're up to and how you enjoy your honey!
Honeycomb is a delicious treat straight from the hive. Chew on it like chewing gum, serve it on a cheese plate or smear it on your favorite toast to enjoy!
Honeycomb cell up close and personal. Photo by Melina Madara