Yesterday I opened a sealed jar of raw honey (blackberry). Over the course of a not-very-long meal (at which the honey was being used as a condiment) I watched it go from liquid to crystalized. I've had honey crystalize after having been opened for weeks or months, but I've never seen it happen in a matter of minutes before. Googling led to lots of explanations and rebuttals about why raw honey crystalizes slowly, but I found nothing that addressed what I saw.

I store my honey in an interior pantry cabinet, so it's at room temperature -- lately around 65-70F. (I specify interior because I've found that storing it in cabinets on exterior walls leads to faster crystallization, presumably due to winter cold seeping through the wall.) I have another unopened jar of this honey in that cabinet right now and would prefer to not have it immediately crystalize when I open it. I understand that crystallization isn't bad, but liquid works better for many uses. So I'd like to understand what happened and what I need to change to get a different outcome.

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    You can always warm honey to re-liquefy it. You should probably only warm what you're going to use immediately though. Deliberately crystallised honey is made by stirring in crystallised honey. So if you had a few crystals around the top of the jar, and stirred as you spooned it out, you could have replicated this process – Chris H Oct 5 '16 at 8:13
  • @ChrisH thanks; I did not know that about stirring. While I wasn't aggressively stirring, I was spooning the honey out of the jar (not pouring). – Monica Cellio Oct 5 '16 at 13:02

Raw honey crystallizes quicker than processed honey. Also the type of honey, where the bees collect their nectar, determines how quick it will crystallize. Re heating carefully is fine, but honey will no longer be raw.

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    What sets the crystallization in motion -- opening the seal, stirring (as suggested in a comment), something else? If I don't want the next jar to insta-crystalize, what should I do differently? – Monica Cellio Oct 9 '16 at 16:54

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