Tue. May 21st, 2024
Everything You Need to Know About Tupelo Honey

Honey has been a part and parcel of human history. Only recently, it has slowly faded out of use. One of the reasons for this is the common availability and affordability of processed sugar. However, there’s been a recent growing interest in honey and honey products. 

Moreover, people are beginning to explore different varieties such as Tupelo Honey. Such types are typically local varieties and often have a specific taste. As such, they have different flavours, colours, viscosity and even crystallization points. 

While they also differ in nutritional composition, it is too minor to make a difference. Tupalo Honey is a rare honey that is only available in a few areas of Florida and Georgia. 

They also come from the Tupelo tree which thrives in the marshy swamps of the area. As a result, it is considered a rare honey and is recently becoming more well-known. So it is worth exploring deeply. 

Tupalo Honey: The Tree and the Bloom

Honey Tupelo is only available in the Florida and Georgia regions of the United States. To make this honey, the bees forage solely from the Tupelo tree, specifically from the Nyssa Ogeche species. In the Southeastern United States or the Gulf Coast, these trees are valued specifically for their honey. 

Tupelo trees also grow in the river swamps of the region and bloom during rainy seasons. They grow and thrive in this region as they tolerate wet souls and flooding quite well. While some species are native to this region, you can also find them in Southeastern Canada, Asia, China, Indochina, Java and even the Himalayas.

One of the reasons for its rarity is that beekeepers need to set the hives during bloom. And, this only happens from mid-April to mid-May- a mere two weeks per spring in a year. Thus adding to its rarity and high price. 

What Makes Honey Tupelo Special

Honey comes in different varieties across the world. Their taste and flavour profile varies according to the flowers the bees graze during their bloom. For honey to come from a single flower source, timing and beehive placement are key factors. 

While normally, this is easily achievable, that is not possible with rare honey like Tupelo honey. As you know by now, Tupelo trees bloom only for 10 or so days twice a year. This is a short gap in which beekeepers must act. 

During this time, they place the beehives around the trees in the swamps. The bees happily collect nectar from the blooms and turn them into honey. 

Furthermore, the beekeepers must ensure that the bees don’t go foraging into other flowers during this time. Otherwise, the honey is not going to be pure honey Tupelo.

Here’s another place where timing matters. Along with ensuring they place the hives at the right time, they must also not move them before the time is up. 

Tupelo Honey: The Label

You’ll find Tupelo Honey, like Manuka, Acacia, or orange blossom with two types of labels. One will claim to have the adjective ‘pure’ attached to it. You should avoid buying honey without this label, especially if the price is high, for two reasons:

  • First, it may contain sugar or corn syrup. Many brands do this to reduce costs and maximize profits. 
  • Secondly, if the bees grazed more than just one type of flower, it is no longer purely from the flower. So the money you pay for it may be too expensive. 

Pollen is a key component of honey. Bees collect honey from flowers and blossoms and as you can guess, they contain pollen. Bees are also one of the major pollinators in the animal kingdom. So honey is bound to contain a certain amount of pollen. 

To become an internationally recognised honey with a trustable label, the honey undergoes pollen analysis. The percentage of pollen from the flower source must be higher with a big majority in the honey. Trace amounts of other pollen are negligible. So that’s how you spot pure tupelo honey. 

The Flavour Profile, Viscosity and Colour of Tupalo Honey

One of the major reasons behind the popularity of honey Tupelo is its flavour profile. Tupelo honey has a rich flavour profile with a floral essence to it. But what makes it more popular is the buttery aftertaste it leaves. 

As a result, it goes well with pancakes, toast, french toast, and even sauces and marinades. In addition to this, it also has notes of spices such as cinnamon and a wholesome fruity taste. 

When it comes to viscosity, it is much the same as most other honeys out there. 

However, it is slow to crystallise compared to other honey, making it a popular pantry ingredient. Furthermore, it has tinges of green to it and the colour is somewhere between light amber and orange. 


Tupelo is an amazing and rare honey that is a fantastic addition to your pantry. The nectar comes from the gorgeous Tupelo Blooms. Its buttery, floral and spice flavour profile makes it a popular honey today. Make sure you look in your local farmers market or buy from beekeepers from Florida to ensure you’re getting the real thing. 

Explore Smiley Honey to find the best quality Tupelo honey that is pure and undiluted. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s special about Tupelo Honey?

Tupelo honey is considered special because of its rarity and unique taste. It has a floral taste with a hint of cinnamon and leaves behind a buttery aftertaste. 

Is tupelo honey expensive?

It can be on the expensive side but there’s good reason for it. It comes from the marshy flowers of the Tupelo tree. Setting up the equipment in such locations can be difficult. Moreover, there’s a small window in which bees can forage Tupelo flowers. 

Does Tupelo Honey go bad quickly?

On the contrary, it can last for a long time as long as you store it in a cool and dry place. 

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