Guide to Buying Honey at Trader Joe's

Oh honey, how much I love you. I use this saying in reference to my wife, but also in reference to that sweet nectar that the bees oh so kindly provide for our enjoyment. I love sampling different varieties of honey. Ever since my trip out to California, 4 years ago, when I first discovered orange blossom and avocado honey, I have been trying as many new varieties as I could. You have to search them out. Most of the big chain stores don’t offer a good selection. However one of the exceptions is Trader Joe’s. In the last year, the selection has even gotten better. They have three honeys that are available for a reasonable price and are easy to find. Which one should you select? I brought home 3 of their finest so that I could help make your decision of which to buy that much easier – ok, mainly because I wanted to taste them side by side, but I am using my blog as an excuse, which bloggers are allowed to do!

If you are interested in raw or organic honey, check out my post on Trader Joe’s Raw Organic Honey

Trader Joe Honeys

For years Trader Joe’s has sold their 100% Desert Mesquite Honey. More recently their Mostly Mesquite Honey showed up. I originally thought it was replacing the Desert Mesquite because I only saw the new one on the shelf, but eventually it came back. They also then added Tukish Honey. Let me share with the differences between these 3 different honeys.

TJ Desert Mesquite Honey

100% Desert Mesquite Honey
Origin: Desert of Northern Mexico
What is Mesquite? It’s a type of plant that actually falls into the legume family. It grows like a tree. You can find it in northern Mexico to the southwestern United States, even as far north as southern Kansas. It’s wood is used for smoking food, particularly in Texas and southwestern BBQ. When the tree blossoms it makes a great nectar source for bees. The honey that make from it is a light to medium amber color. It has a mild, yet distinctive taste. More flavor than just a clover honey. It would be great used in homemade BBQ sauce especially with some added mesquite liquid smoke.

TJ Mostly Mesquite Honey

Mostly Mesquite Honey
Origin: Argentina
The bottle says “Collected from bees whose primary forage source is the nectar of the Mesquite Tree’s blossom. This one is not 100% mesquite. The bees are getting their nectar from other sources as well, although the bottle doesn’t indicated those sources. The color is pretty much the exact same. The taste is similar, but I dedicate a hint of spice and it’s a little bit sweeter. They are similar that they can be used interchangeable, but different enough where it’s fun to have both on hand.

TJ Turkish Honey

Turkish Honey
Origin: Turkey
The bottle says “Produced by bees foraging nectar from primarily Rock Rose, Citrus, Wildflowers, and Turkish Pines”.
This honey is vastly different than the two above. It’s flavor is the sweetest. It has a very unique hard candy like flavor that I have never had in a honey. It tastes just like I was sucking some kind of hard candy. It’s color is darker than the other two honeys as well. It has several floral sources. Rock Rose is a shrub found in temperate areas of Europe and the Mediterranean. When it blooms the shrub is just covered in flowers. Lots of nectar opportunities for the bees. The Turkish Pine is a pine that is native to Turkey and some of the surrounding areas. An aphid sucks sap out of the tree and then secretes sugar that the bees collect for honey. Yes I mean the bees are collecting aphid poop. Try not to think about that one too much.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to pick up all 3 of these honeys. Great to have when guests are over and they can taste the differences. For $5.99 for a 24 ounce bottle that is a wonderful deal on some good honey. Unless another store has a sale these are my go to honeys to have on hand for everyday use.

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Comments for This Post

  1. brian morse April 23, 2015, 11:55 am

    Hi Eric, thanks for the info on the honey. however the most important thing about honey, is whether or not it is raw or processed, and to what degree and also how much extra sugar has been added and does it contain pollen or has it been filtered out. Taste is secondary to these considerations. Hope you can tell me what’s what. Thanks Brian Morse

  2. Eric Samuelson April 24, 2015, 7:25 am

    It is 100% honey, no added sugar to it or any other sweetener. It is not labeled as raw at all. I myself prefer to buy my honey raw, directly from local sources, but I wanted to review the TJ’s honeys for the blog.

  3. KC December 25, 2015, 7:27 pm

    O yes! TJ’s Turkish honey is the tits!!! Used it along with their brown sugar, a “Mexican” Coke (made w/ sugar not HFCS) & pineapple juice to make the yummiest ham glaze. I was actually led here as I’m doing a search as to what a “rock rose” is. TJ’s is a fantastic store that offers many wonderful & natural treats. I like to use this in my tea or on a peanut butter, cream cheese & honey sandwich (try it before knocking it) as well as putting it over goat cheese & dried figs. It’s very versatile & my favorite honey so far (& I have access to a local honey maker 2 blocks over…)

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I'm Eric. I live in Ann Arbor, MI with my wife, 3 kids, and a flock of ducks. I love grocery shopping, trying new fruits, farmer's market, and traveling.
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