Does honey ever expire?
I've heard that honey never expires and will actually last hundreds of years. I know certain types of honey that start to harden after just a month or so. I'm not sure if that means it's going bad or not.
Honey doesn't ever really expire, but it does start to crystallize at some point. Nothing is really wrong with it, it just won't taste quite as delicious at that point.
There is a "best by" or "use by" date on bottles of honey sold in the grocery store, so I assume there's some reason they include that.
Honey will last for quite some time on the shelf -- usually several years. This long shelf life is due to the low water content, and highly hydroscopic nature of sugar -- there is very little available water for little yeast and bacterial critters, which cause spoilage.
Don't worry about crystallization: it's only the glucose molecules coming out of solution, forming solid crystals. This process is easily reversible. Put your jar of honey in a pot of hot water, and leave it there until the water cools to room temperature. The honey will become syrup again long before the water drops to room temperature, but the slow cooling process prevents recrystallization which might occur with rapid cooling.
This heating process (and even simply exposing the honey to open air, to a lesser extent) does cause some loss of volatile flavor compounds, so the fewer times you use this trick, the better.
Ultimately, your honey wont last forever, but you will probably eat it all (if you are like me, anyways) long before you have to worry about it going off.
I think there is an expiry date, as I have seen on the bottles sold in the market, varying from one to two years.
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