05 May 2010
Posted in FOOD AND WINE
Honey, that golden liquid produced by bees and seen as a healthier alternative to sugar. There is not only one kind of honey though, and the Italians know this very well – different kinds of honey from different flowers have different flavours and should be used in different ways. Some of the best honeys in the world are produced in Italy, making it the perfect destination for those with a sweet tooth.
The best known of all the types of honey, Acacia honey is also the most commonly used. Delicious spread on toast, used in deserts and to sweeten teas and infusions it is light in colour, very liquid and with a sweet, delicate flavour. This kind of honey is produced all over Italy, but the very best is to be found in the area around Bologna.
Coming from the sweetly fragrant flowers of the lemon and orange trees of Southern Italy, this kind of honey is produced mainly on the Amalfi and Sorrento coasts and in Sicily. It is famous for the sweet, floral scent given off on opening the jar, redolent of the flowers from whence it came. It is often used spread on toast and to sweeten tea and in some areas people even add it to their espresso.
Miele di Castagno
Chestnut honey is thick, dark and pungent with a smoky, almost bitter aftertaste. It is produced all over Italy, where chestnut trees abound from North to South, and is used in a variety of ways – in baking and ice-creams in the South for a richer, more complex final product, drizzled over strong cheese and eaten with fresh pears in Tuscany and in Rome, and used in glazes for hams and game meat in the North.
Miele di Timo
This famous and very unusual honey, made with thyme flowers, is produced almost exclusively in Sicily. It is slightly acidic, aromatic and is usually eaten with bread and cheese. It is also used in herbal medicine, both for helping wounds to heal and for treating respiratory problems.
If you are a fan of honey, there are a number of things you can do to incorporate this sweet condiment into your wedding day celebrations. The warm golden colour is perfect for a wedding theme, especially when combined with white or cream, and you might consider having miniature pots of local honey personalised and using them as favours. For your honeymoon, you could go to an apiculturalist to learn more about honey is made, or even take part in a honey tasting session in the area.