Chunk honey: a strange hybrid
Chunk honey is a combination of extracted honey and comb honey. To package chunk honey, one or several pieces of honeycomb are placed in a jar and then the empty space around the comb is filled with extracted honey.
I find this practiced a bit odd. It’s akin to putting a whole orange into a carton of juice or a t-bone steak in a gallon of milk. I guess the consumer is supposed to say, “Oh! So that is where it comes from!”
The first time I saw chunk honey it bothered me, and it still does. It defies the natural order of the universe. In fact, it is inside-out. Honey is supposed to be inside the comb, not surrounding it.
Normally, beekeepers go to great effort to keep their comb honey white and clean and dripless. They take pride in a section of honey where every cell is brimming full yet sealed tight. Chunk honey is a slap in the face to all those meticulous beekeepers. It must have been invented by a teenager.
I often wonder if consumers who have never seen the inside of a beehive are confused by this—if they think that waxy thing in the jar is some kind of weird growth that happens in storage, like the slimy precipitate called “mother of vinegar?” I think this is a real possibility, especially in those jars in which no more than a cubic inch of comb rolls loosely over the bottom like a seaweed prodded by the tide. “What is that thing?”
The name “chunk honey” must mean a chunk of honey? Or does it mean a chunk in honey? Or honey in a chunk? None of it makes sense and if you say (or write) “chunk” enough times it starts sounding weird.