Honeycomb Snacks: Straight From the Source

04 Sep 2019

Honeycomb is a delicious invention of nature’s ingenuity – perfectly shaped for stability, flexibility, and support as hives grow to astounding proportions. Each cell is designed for a specific purpose – and the honey-storing cells are of particular interest to the human palate. Each octagonal cell is the result of countless hours of bee flight, gathering, collaboration, and hard work, not to mention the honey and other trace elements stored inside. Full of natural immunity-supporting ingredients, local pollen from trees and flowers, and energy-giving sugars, the untouched honeycomb might just be nature’s most perfect snack. 

Is Honeycomb Wax Edible?

Every part of the honeycomb is completely safe to eat – assuming you have no allergies to bees or honey, of course. However, just like chewing gum, the wax won’t hurt if it is swallowed as the comb is eaten, but it’s a good idea to only eat it in moderation. Because of the durability and waterproof properties of beeswax, eating an excess of it (far more than an average honeycomb snacker would normally) could lead to stomach discomfort or blockages. Instead, stick to small amounts or try chewing the beeswax as a gum for a delightfully textural delicacy in conjunction with your honey.

Note: As with all honey products, honeycomb shouldn’t be given to children under one year of age, as they may be susceptible to a certain spore that naturally appears in honey processing. When in doubt, be sure to ask your child’s physician for dietary guidance.

Why Should I Eat Honeycomb?

Biting into a honeycomb isn’t simply about retrieving the honey from nature’s purest storage container. It’s the delightful sensation of each capped cell opening as you bite, offering drop after drop of deliciously sweet honey to your taste buds. This gradual tasting allows you to enjoy the nuances of the honey – the flowers from which it was created, how dry or sweet honey notes are, the particular thickness of the honey inside. Similar to a wine tasting, a little air – in this case, the space between cells as your bite penetrates them – gives the end result some incredible depth and flavor. 

Eating honeycomb gives the flavor and satisfaction of eating a true raw, natural food, exactly as it appears in the wild. Safe to eat for raw and paleo diets, it’s a natural source of energy and ideal for pre- or post-workout snacking, particularly when eaten along with a protein source like raw almonds or Greek yogurt. Other sweet natural treats – oranges and bananas, for example – have inedible “storage containers”; however, honeycomb is a great snack because it’s one of the few options that’s ready to eat directly out of its naturally-occurring package. Easy to chew and packed with just the right amount of softness, honeycomb lovers swear by this super-sweet treat.  

Keeping Nutrition Intact

Honey is typically processed after extracting it from the comb – this produces a uniform, translucent syrup with even color that makes it palatable on store shelves. By contrast, honey “in the comb” isn’t heated or processed, which means that all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other trace nutrition remain intact. 

When you savor a piece of raw, honey-filled comb, you’ll be getting the benefits of trace elements found in honey’s by-products, including royal jelly, pollen, propolis, and more. The beeswax is also unprocessed and offers a rich, flavor-filled chewing experience even after the honey has been extracted. Like honey, honeycomb can remain stored at room temperature or colder virtually indefinitely, provided no moisture or other substance gets into its container.

Do I Have To Melt Honeycomb To Eat It?

Honeycomb is not a “peel” or “shell” for the honey – it’s an integral part of the honey-eating experience. Honeycomb can be eaten at any temperature – right off the counter or right out of the fridge. Your comb won’t require any special heating or preparation to enjoy, though some honeycomb aficionados prefer to slice the top of the comb open with a knife before eating to expose the honey. 

How you enjoy your honeycomb snack will depend largely on your personal tastes. If you like your honeycomb room temperature or below, try stirring a chunk of comb into ice cream or yogurt. If you prefer your honey warm, spreading it on toast or setting it out on a room-temperature charcuterie board will let you sample it in its natural state. You can even put honeycomb in tea as a natural substitute for sugar. Any of these ways of enjoying this honeycomb snack are all valid but beware: once you try honey made Mother Nature’s way, you may never want to go back to plain honey in a jar ever again.

If you’ve never experienced the sweet, textural sensation of a wonderful, honey-filled comb snack, there’s never been a better time to try Pass the Honey honeycomb for yourself. And for a gourmet entertaining experience, few offerings can impress guests more than honeycomb artfully woven into your menu. Whether you’re hosting an intimate gathering among old friends or an afternoon tea party, honeycomb pairs beautifully with soft cheeses, water crackers, crusty, sliced wedges of bread and grapes for an upscale charcuterie board that is sure to deliver the “wow” factor with minimal effort. For Epicureans who find that the taste of plain, simple honey is amazing, eating a bite straight from the comb is destined to be a delicious feast of the senses. 

Sources Cited:

  1. Hirsch, J.M. “Honeycomb – Off the Beaten Aisle.” Food Network.com, June 2011, https://www.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/recipes/2011/08/how-to-use-honeycomb. Accessed August 27, 2019.
  2. Marsilio, Josh. “What does raw honeycomb taste like?” Quora.com, December 1, 2018, https://www.quora.com/What-does-raw-honeycomb-taste-like. Accessed August 27, 2019.
  3. Boldt, Andrea; Renee, Janet. “What Are the Benefits of Eating Honeycomb?” Livestrong.com, August 12, 2019, https://www.livestrong.com/article/486228-what-are-the-benefits-of-eating-honeycomb/. Accessed August 27, 2019.
  4. Kamila, Avery Yale. “Honeycomb: surprisingly edible and versatile.” Press Herald.com, July 18, 2012, https://www.pressherald.com/2012/07/18/honeycomb-surprisingly-edible-and-versatile_2012-07-18/. Accessed August 27, 2019.

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