Honey was the primary source of sugar utilized by ancient civilizations and continues to be popular in modern times despite the proliferation of many other types of sweeteners. Bees produce the golden, viscous substance from the nectar they collect from flowers. Thus, the diet of the insects influences the flavor and appearance of honey, some exhibiting darker hues or sweeter tastes than others. Though once utilized as an embalming material and as a medical treatment for burns, honey is most often used today as a spread or as a component of candies, cakes, breads, and similar items. Honey can also be utilized as a preservative since it does not spoil and is hygroscopic, a characteristic that helps keep baked goods from becoming stale.

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