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Acacia honey is made from the flowers of the acacia (aka locust) tree. It is very light colored, and it is reputed to never crystallize. Certainly none of the acacia honey I've had in the house has crystallized, but I don't know about the "never" part, because we tend to consume it before eternity sets in. :)

My question is, is this due to some property of acacia nectar (if so, what?), or is "acacia honey" a code name for some highly-processed honey-flavored concoction, or ...?

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what kind of acacia honey do you use? Most of the mass-market honeys I have bought don't crystalize (I assume due to treatment or additives, but not sure), and I think that I have had farmers' market acacia honey crystalize, although I am not 100% sure about this memory. – rumtscho Jul 9 '12 at 20:40
    
I don't know if you can get more mass-market than the honey in the bear-shaped bottles, and those crystallize on me all the time. For acacia honey in the US, you have to scour the international foods section of better supermarkets, such as Wegman's; it's usually imported from Germany. I've also had acacia honey in Hungary, where it's much more common and widely available, including from farmers-market-type sellers; all of it has been equally crystallization-proof in my experience. – Marti Jul 9 '12 at 20:58

The crystallising of honey depends on the amount of glucose (sugar) you have in the honey. Crystallisation occurs in solutions that are (like honey) oversaturated with sugars. Less saturation means less likelihood for crystallisation while water presence affects the distribution and size of crystals.

In terms of moisture you have two types of crystallisation:

  • If moisture exceeds ~14% large crystals form at the bottom of the container and the honey seems otherwise OK. That is indicative of moisture excess in the honey which is considered of inferior quality.

  • If moisture is less than that, the honey crystallises uniformly. That is a normal phenomenon.

Now aside from the way it crystallises, depending on the glucose content you have faster or slower times for its crystallisation. The lengths I quote refer to Mediterranean (Greek) climates. In Scotland, every honey I've ever brought from Greece apart from fir honey has crystallised within weeks. So in terms of glucose:

  • A high glycose content of ~40% would have the honey crystallise within 2 months from harvest

  • A moderately high glucose content of ~35% would take 6 months to a year to crystallise

  • A honey with normal glucose content of ~30% would take a couple of years, and

  • A honey with low glucose content <30% would not have enough sugars to crystallise (that's my fir honey and my honey of choice)

My reference is a website about honey (in Greek) cross-referenced with the answer I got from a producer when I had the same question.

So to answer your question, your honey doesn't have enough sugar to crystallise.

But even if it does, worry not. Bain-Marie (don't microwave!) it for 1/2 an hour and the sugar will melt its way back into its uniform honey goodness.

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Due to the high content of fructose is in the liquid state for a long time and very slowly crystallizes.

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Usually the honeys that do not crystallize have been boiled. Boiling makes honey runny and clear, and helps separate wax (and perhaps other solids) from the sugar-component of the honey.

May be boiling also destroys some nutritive components of the honey - many seem to think so.

Quality honey is never boiled but centrifuged, will crystallize, and keeps for ever!

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