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Apulia (Puglia) Honey

Apulia (Puglia) – ‘Il miele della Puglia’

Apulia is located at the south-eastern tip of the Italy and includes the ‘heel’ of the boot. It is the least mountainous area in Italy, covering over 7,500 sq. miles (19,357 sq. km) in a succession of broad plains and low-lying hills. During many centuries the city of Taranto, founded by the Spartans, was the capital of Magna Graecia (Latin meaning “Greater Greece”) and a center for Hellenic culture which left its imprint on Italy and the culture of ancient Rome. It later became a Roman province called the Apulia.

Apulia enjoys a long history of beekeeping documented by classical Greek and Latin writers of their time. In the tenth century some monasteries and churches, during the blessing of the paschal candle chanted a solemn tribute to bees in scenes depicted in a liturgical scroll that survives to this day.

The traditions of beekeeping and honey in Apulia are in danger of being lost like many agricultural traditions throughout the world, but you may still catch a glimpse of them through the unique preserved stone hives and apiaries throughout the region as well as by religious symbols, legends and folk beliefs that concern bees, wax and honey. The beekeeping heritage consists of unique forms and elements such as corbels carved into rock faces of the hives in the walls of stone farms, where they also support the function of buildings, and even the walled gardens. Many stone hives still exist throughout the region [English].

  • Almond Honey – ‘Miele di mandorlo’ (Prunus dulcis)
  • Borage – ‘Miele di borragine’ (Borago officinalis)
  • Cherry – ‘Miele di Marasca del Carso’ (Prunus avium)
  • Honey Rocket (aka Sanacciola) – ‘Miele di ruchetta o sanacciola’ (Cruciferae)
  • Rosemary Slow Food Icon – ‘Miele di rosmarino’ (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • Savory (aka Abruzzi Thyme Honey) – ‘Miele di santoreggia’ (Satureja montana L.) [see Slow Foods]
  • Wildflower, Mountain Wildflower – ‘Millefiori, Millefiori di montagna’

Less Common/Rare or limited production:

  • Citrus – Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit – ‘Miele di agrumi’ (Citrus spp.)
  • Eucalyptus – Red River Gum – ‘Miele di eucalpito’ (Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh)
  • Honey Cherry – ‘Miele di ciliegio’ (Prunus spp.)
  • Sunflower – ‘Miele di girasole’ (Helianthus annuus L.)
  • Schiucciolo (aka Yellow Plug, Centaurea) – ‘Miele di schiucciolo, Spino giallo’ (Centaurea solstitialis)
  • Thyme – ‘Miele di timo’ (Thymus spp.)

Certified Traditional Food of Italy PAT – Honey certified as a Traditional Italian Food.
Slow Food Icon Honey identified and cataloged by the Arc of Taste (Slow Foods)
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Other Resources and further reading

Traditional Stone hives in Puglia (Italian translated to English)

2 comments to Apulia (Puglia) Honey

  • Richard Blakemore-Brown

    Hi
    Lover of honey and Puglia. Staying near Bisceglie (Bari) this year. Any ideas where to buy good honey espectally Meile de Rosmarino.
    Grazie
    Richard

  • Hi Richard:

    I am a little jealous! I have no up-to-date info on where to buy, but I am sure you will have fun looking!

    …Scott

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