There are many types of honey, different in taste, smell, colour, crystallisation and with varying properties. The variety of honey depends on the flowers from which the nectar comes and on the production area.
Acacia, chestnut, rhododendron, dandelion and multiflora: these are some of the types of honey that are produced in Valle Camonica, thanks to the bees that live in the hives at the bottom of the valley, on the meadows, on the edge of the woods and even in the pastures of Mortirolo, Tonale and Passo Crocedomini, above 1,800 metres.
Sfruttato fin dall’antichità per le sue innumerevoli proprietà il miele è l’unico alimento zuccherino disponibile da millenni, salutare, genuino e dotato di un elevato valore nutritivo.
La tradizione dell’apicoltura è radicata nel territorio camuno ormai da molto tempo.
Used since ancient times for its innumerable properties, honey is the only sugary food which has been available for millennia; healthy, genuine and with a high nutritional value.
The tradition of beekeeping has been rooted in the Camunian territory for a long time now.
Among the types of honey produced in Valle Camonica there are:
• Acacia Honey: a kind of honey that stays liquid for a long time. Its colour is straw-yellow or golden, with a very sweet and pleasant taste.
• Alpine rhododendron honey: a very light summer honey, harvested between June and July. It is yellow in colour, and crystallises finely. It has delicate and sweet scent and taste. It is a very refined honey, thanks to the purity of the environments in which it is collected. Often, the unfavourable weather prevents its production or reduces it to very small quantities.
• Chestnut Honey: a hill and mountain honey, it stays liquid for a long time. It has a dark brown / reddish colour and an intense and characteristic aroma, with a markedly bitter taste.
• Dandelion honey (chicory flower): typical of open meadows, pleasant for those who love strong flavours. It crystallises finely but remains soft and easily spreadable.
• Millefiori: a spring and summer high-mountain honey. It is the most common honey; it quickly crystallises, more or less finely. It has a light or dark amber colour and is produced by the blooms of all seasons. It is a splendidly delicate product, which varies every year, also depending on the areas.
Honey keeps very well but it is important not to let it age too much; the maximum recommended conservation is two years.
In the kitchen and on the table, honey is suitable for numerous combinations: with croutons and smoked pancetta, raw ham, aubergine, risotto and pasta, by mixing it with either lemon or orange.
Excellent with poultry, lamb chops, pork or fish; it accompanies cheese creating a rich combination of tastes and flavours.
The production of honey follows the various blooms that occur throughout the seasons. The production of high mountain honey takes place exclusively in summer.
Bees are the primary pollinators; they fertilise plants and without them almost nothing would be produced in agriculture.
Today bees are considered animals at risk of extinction, they suffer terribly because of our intervention on the environment and, most of all, the use of insecticides.
Cuisine and territory have always been linked, not so much because of the belief that what is born behind the house is better than the rest, but simply because local products were immediately available to those who had to cook.
Traditional cuisine, which is seasonal, derives from what has happened over time in a place and from the products of that place.