May 24, 2023
(A $120 bottle of Gold Reserve Tupelo Honey)
“She’s as sweet as Tupelo honey
She’s an angel of the first degree
She’s as sweet as Tupelo honey
Just like honey baby, from the bee”
In 1971 singer-songwriter Van Morrison released his album Tupelo Honey. Shortly thereafter,
the album reached number 27 on the Billboard charts. As a result, the name and brand of Tupelo honey reached a national audience. Then in 1996 Tupelo honey once again gained recognition in the media spotlight with the release of the major motion picture Ulee’s Gold starring Peter Fonda. Not only did Fonda win a Golden Globe for his performance in the film, but Tupelo honey also earned the distinction of being known as the Queen of the Honey World.
Tupelo honey is light golden amber with a greenish cast. The first taste is of cinnamon with a tinge of anise. That gives way to a whisper of jasmine and something citrusy like tangerine rind.
Tupelos honey is unique for its unusually high fructose to glucose ratio. Because of this ratio, raw Tupelo honey is very slow to, and rarely ever crystallizes. The higher fructose to glucose ratio also makes Tupelo honey one of the sweeter honey options.
Considered by many to be the most expensive honey in America, it seems strangely odd that the best Tupelo honey producing region in the world is the Florida panhandle along the Appalachicola, Chipola and Choctahatichie River systems of creeks and backwaters. It comes from the nectar of the White Ogeechee Tupelo trees. The Tupelo tree, also known as the swamp gum tree, is abundant in only a few places in the country including Northwestern Florida, Southern Georgia and Louisiana. Beekeepers load their beehives on barges and float them in the swamp for the 3-week blooming period, being careful to avoid the alligators lurking in those waters. The little flowers are very delicate and can be easily destroyed by high winds or severe rain. This is why the demand for Tupelo honey will always exceed the supply!
Linda Alexander, Dallas County Master Gardener Class of 2008
Try this Tupelo Honey Recipe: