Hundred-year-old Tips for Storing Honey

honey in jar

I keep a jar of honey in one of my kitchen cupboards, but never really thought about how to best store it until I read a short article in a hundred-year-old magazine. (When I read the article, I also realized that I never even considered storing honey in some of places where people apparently put it in 1919.)

How to Keep Honey

In using honey as a substitute for sugar, the housewife may encounter some difficulty through lack of knowledge in storing this product according to the American Food Journal. Housewives usually put their honey in the cellar for safekeeping, probably the worst possible place, as honey absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, and will become thin and in time sour. Comb honey kept in a damp place will be hurt in appearance, as well as in quality. A practicable rule is to keep honey in any place where salt remains dry. If honey has granulated or candied, put the can containing it in a large vessel holding water, not hotter than the hand can be borne in. If the water is too hot, there is danger of spoiling the color and ruining the flavor of the honey. The can of honey should be supported by a block of wood in the vessel of water, so that the heat from the stove will not be too intense.

American Cookery (January, 1919)

8 thoughts on “Hundred-year-old Tips for Storing Honey

  1. I love honey. The only time I have had to put it in hot water (crystals) is in the winter, which is normally a “dry” time, with the heat on : ) it did the trick!

  2. We use honey so quickly, especially when someone has a sore throat, that it rarely crystalizes. I was impressed with the word “practicable” from the article. The meaning is easily understood, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen or heard it before.

  3. Never knew that honey absorbs moisture from the air, I always kept it in a glass jar with a tight lid on the pantry shelf. Guess back then it would have been in an open container.

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