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In Bosnia and Herzegovina, I bought some black honey that someone was selling on the roadside in unlabeled jars. It was the most delicious honey I've ever had. It tasted like caramel but also like honey. It was very dark, almost black. It was less viscous than typical honey.

I tried finding it on the internet, and someone said it might be forest honey, but I found two imported European forest honey products, and they were not the honey for which I was looking.

Can you help me find that delicious honey? I'm curious what it's called and where I can buy it in the US.

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Hmm, I've never heard of it but am intrigued. Does it look like this? – Jolenealaska Jul 28 '14 at 6:36
@Jolenealaska - no, it's definitely not buckwheat honey, but that is pretty delicious too. – dsg Jul 28 '14 at 7:18

It is honeydew honey. It is not made from nectar, but from tree parasite secretions. It has a quite different taste from regular flower/nectar honey, and it is much darker. Sometimes it is also called forest honey.

Wikipedia has a paragraph on it:

There is a slim possibility that it is not a real honey at all, but pine honey, which is actually a jelly made from pine flowers/leaves (it uses the fresh tips where the needles are very soft). It is used as a bee honey substitute, not a fruit jelly substitute, and the name also includes the word "honey", so there is a chance for miscommunication, especially if a language barrier is present. But I think you'd have described the taste differently. It is also a richer taste than normal honey, but a bit sharper, not caramel-like mellow, and the pine resin aroma is discernible.

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"Tree parasite secretions"... sure sounds like a treat? – logophobe Jul 28 '14 at 16:02
@logophobe when I eat bee vomit, I'm not that worried by the possibility of it being the second time passing through an insect. – rumtscho Jul 28 '14 at 16:06
A fair point there. The trigger for me is the vague descriptor "secretions". I like to know precisely what my bees are vomiting. (Don't get me wrong - I would actually like to try this stuff, and would welcome comments from anyone with pointers on purchasing it in the US.) – logophobe Jul 28 '14 at 16:10
@logophobe: That's probably why they call it "black honey" and not "tree parasite secretions". – Aaronut Jul 28 '14 at 16:18
@Aaronut: Calling food something inaccurate to make it sound more palatable is a tradition with a long history. You know why those little rodents that are not the least bit porcine are called "guinea pigs"? That's why... – Mason Wheeler Jul 28 '14 at 21:03

If it is very dark in colour and has a bit of a bitter taste, it could be a garden sage (Salvia officinalis) honey.


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