We purchased a 32-ounce bottle of Thrifty Bee Dark & Robust Honey liquid for review, to see how it tasted when adding its distinctive honey flavor to teas, cereals, and of course, to any recipe that calls for honey such as buckwheat pancakes or waffles. This internationally sourced honey product, as described on the bottle, comes from India, Canada, Argentina, and Vietnam, and no doubt contains a mixture of honeys from all these places.
Thrifty Bee grade A honey, appears at Walmart stores for sale, and has 60 calories per tablespoon. It seems to be just as sweet as agave nectar and maple syrup. However, I’d suggest that you not use honey in place of these sweeteners, as its flavor interacts differently with the foods into which you add it. Thus, the resulting flavors may not be what you desired or planned on.
This dark honey, produced by Golden Heritage Foods, is a pleasing substitute to table sugar and corn syrup-based syrup products, as it supplies more nutrition and the unique natural honey flavor, that makes real honey so worth the little extra expense over the man-made varieties artificially-flavored corn syrups.
Benefits, Pros, Features, and Advantages
- Natural honey taste. Offers a moderate-strength honey flavor, and has a strong honey aroma; a certain and pleasant scent.
- Nearly transparent yet dark and robust look. This sweetener is clear and indeed, dark amber in color; a bit lighter than pure maple syrup, and somewhat darker than the light varieties of agave nectar. So it can darken the colors of foods or beverages you put it in. Thus, be careful of how much you add.
- Dissolves completely, though not so quickly in hot drinks. It requires more effort to dissolve than agave nectar or maple syrup; especially in cold drinks. However, I get around this by heating the honey in the microwave for ten seconds or so. That softens it enough to make dissolving it in beverages a cinch.
- Remains dissolved too. This version of grade A honey requires just one stirring, as it tends to remain suspended in liquids and batters after it’s completely dissolved; once you get it dissolved that is.
- Becoming more popular. Honey lovers since we first learned of this bee-produced delicacy over three decades ago, it’s good that through products such as this offering from Golden Heritage Foods, all-natural honey has certainly moved into widespread distribution and sale here in North America. That’s been true since I was a boy.
- Never experienced digestion problems. We’ve never experienced any intestinal or stomach problems from this great-tasting honey.
- Drip-free spout. The 32-ounce bottle comes equipped with a squeeze-out spout honey dispenser that further eases application of it to foods and drinks.
- Quite thick. This honey indeed has a very thick, honey-like feel to it in the mouth, and is thus, significantly thicker than maple syrup or agave nectar. Can be thinned somewhat however, by heating in the microwave oven.
- Sweet like other honey products. The honey flavor in this internationally sourced honey is of no less quality than that found in brands such as Sue Bee, BeeMaid, et al. However, this grade A honey is still just as sweet as most other honeys. When people discuss the classic taste of honey in tea and on pancakes, they could rightly be talking about the Thrifty Bee brand of clover honey indeed.
Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Concerns
- Switch from plastic packaging to glass, please. They package this Thrifty Bee honey product in a flexible plastic bottle; no doubt to support squeezing of the bottle to force out the thick honey. Plus, plastic packaging weighs significantly less than glass, and so, reduces the overall cost of the product. However, I still prefer glass bottles for all honey and syrup products, to minimize leeching of the plastic compounds into the contents of the bottle, and potentially altering the flavor of the food. This leeching can increase when the honey is heated in the microwave. So give me glass. I’ll pay a little more for it, and incur the inconvenience of having to use my microwave oven to thin the honey in order to easily remove it from the flask.
- Much required to sweeten. To adequately sweeten my tea, I must use three to four tablespoons of most any honey product including this one. This differs markedly from the liquid stevia products I use, that require far less than one tablespoon. This can fatten the cost of honey as a tea sweetener and add lots of calories besides. However, this is true of all honey products I’ve tried, and so, is not endemic to the Thrifty Bee brand of grade A honey being reviewed here.
- May attract insects, and bears. If spilled, any honey can draw bugs, just as spilled sugar or sugary syrup might. Like you would with sugar, take care during clean-up that you leave no sticky honey behind that could attract ants and roaches. It’s simple to clean and water-soluble. So a wet dish cloth or paper towel effectively removes spills. The darkness of this honey makes it easy to see if spilled on counters and tables. Fortunately though, since this honey is so thick compared to agave nectar and maple syrups, one usually has lots of time to pick up a tipped-over bottle before the honey spills out.
- Costs more than sugar. This honey can indeed cost more than sugar per pound. A 32-ounce (two pound) bottle, lasts a few to several weeks when used exclusively to sweeten my morning tea, or lasts through perhaps ten to fifteen pancake or waffle meals.
- Wider distribution preferred. Pleasing that this dark amber honey has become near-ubiquitous through Walmart distribution. But the product is of high enough quality as to be worthy of even greater nationwide distribution.
We’d recommend Thrifty Bee Dark & Robust honey. It’s a pretty concentrated sweetener, with some bonus vitamins and minerals besides. We rate it at 91 out of 100.
Where To Buy Thrifty Bee Dark & Robust Honey
Look for the clear plastic bottle with the pink flower on the label that is capped with a yellow dispenser lid at your Walmart grocers and many bigger retail grocery outlets. You just might agree that you need sacrifice no sweetness to gain the health benefits of natural honey found in this product.
But go easy on consuming any honey, because though honey may be healthier than sugar, it nonetheless still contains about as much sugar as agave nectar and maple syrup. Enjoying this product in moderation therefore, is likely the healthiest way to pleasure yourself with it. Still though, if you must consume calories to experience great honey flavor in food, then this pure honey product from Thrifty Bee is among the healthiest, most nutritious sources of sweetness per calorie available. So enjoy it.
- 2015-01-26: Moved this post to the Tom’s Diet Quest blog, and tweaked the content.
- 2014-12-01: Adjusted ad placement, added whitespace, extended the References section, and revised content.
- 2012-03-08: Originally published.