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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Breitsamer Rapsflower Blossom Honey, Munich, Germany

Breitsamer is a German brand of honey from Munich, Germany and named for the family (3 generations now) who are involved in honey production and distribution. It all started in 1935 with Johann Breitsamer. Currently the oldest son of the current generation of Breitsamers, Robert Breitsamer, is heading the operation. They produce A LOT of different kinds of honey: Lime Blossom, Mountain Flower; Forest; and acacia blossom, to name just a few. They have a lovely website, although be warned it is in German: http://www.breitsamer.de/

According to Wiki, rapeseed (Rapsflower) is a member of the Brassicacae (mustard) family. Of interest the name is from the Latin for turnip (rāpa or rāpum). From rapeseed comes vegetable oil.

In the 1800s rapeseed oil was used as a lubricant for steam engines- apparently it didn't taste very good (bitter). That all changed when new varieties were cultivated that yielded a product with lower amounts of glucosinolates. This heralded the production of rapeseed for human and animal consumption.


It is now a major crop for the production of animal feed, vegetable oil and biodisel. It is credited for being the third leading source of vegetable oil worldwide (after soybean and oil palm).

Of interest, 'Canola'- from 'Canadian Oilseed,Low-Acid) was used by the Manitoba government to label the new low-acid variety of rapeseed during its experimental stages. Canola now refers to the low erucic acid and low glucosinolate variety of rapeseed oil.

Rapeseed honey is one that quickly crystallizes and must be harvested very quickly. If it crystallizes in the hive, it can't be extracted. A web discussion comment from John Russell on just how quickly you need to harvest brings the point home:

"When Canola blooms up here, I'm taking the honey off as fast as it comes in. I'm literally going through the supers frame to frame and cherry picking. Lots and lots of yield...its a very heavy flow. Last year we had a very cold summer, and staggered planting of Canola everywhere because of insane rain in the spring. The Canola flow lasted all summer, with some blooming somewhere. It was crystallizing in the frames in August, and many beekeepers got caught with 1000's of pounds of crystallized frames. Makes for very expensive feed eh? Just take it off fast, and have lots of pails."

Of note in North America, most rapeseed honey is from genetically modified rapeseed crops (to resist herbicides)- so if you have a thing about GM foods, you might want to avoid Rapeseed honey from Canada or the US. European rapeseed honey is not in this category. Personally I'm not against GM foods- but consider each crop and genetic modification individually. Given the way honey is produced, I'm even less concerned with honey from GM crops, but I can appreciate others who may think differently.

The Breitsamer Rapsflower Blossom honey I have is a creamy, opaque color and thick. It folds on a toothpick in sheets and has a wet looking quality to it.

It is sweet and slightly granular and creamy beyond belief. It has a mild honey taste, very simple and delicate, and an aftertaste of strong sweetness. it would be perfect in baking and in tea- anywhere a creamy, sweetness might be needed.

7 comments:

  1. Nice posts recently...pretty pictures!

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  2. It is good! Just bought some at World Market in Seattle.

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  3. Just got some for Christmas...It is delicious

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  4. Oh! (in an EWE sort of way) was my first reaction. Leather came to mind, not that I know what leather tastes like. Plum... skin. (Blech.) Raisins! This honey tastes like raisins to me. Unfortunately, I don't like raisins.

    You're absolutely right about the texture of this honey. It's fantastically smooth, so I'll probably use it to seed my own to make creamed honey.

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  5. Is this German bran of honey GM? I just got this at a Tuesday store for the first time i had no idea i was buying canola (raps flower) honey... it tastes good i hope i do not get allergies!






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    1. @LangeL Breitsamer is a German honey and, as such, unlikely to be GM.

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