SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTIC: VERY HIGH THIXOTROPY – MEANING IT TURNS INTO GEL, WHEN AT REST.
Heather honey has an unusual texture, due to its thixotropic characteristic, being a jelly until stirred, when it becomes a syrup like other honey, and turning again to a jelly.
Both heather (Calluna vulgaris) and manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) honeys are described as thixotropic. This means that they are gel-like (extremely viscous) when standing still, but they can turn liquid when agitated or stirred.
The viscosity of heather honey is so high that makes the extraction of the honey from the comb very difficult. That’s why, this honey is extracted by pressure (instead of centrifugation), which destroys the combs.