Emilia Romagna – ‘Il miele dell’Emilia Romagna’
10,000 Beekeepers, 2,000 tons of honey per year.
Located in north central Italy, Emilia Romagna is bordered by the the Apennines mountains to the west and plains to the east to the Adriatic sea. For those interested in history, Emila Romagna’s past is richly documented by art, museums and architecture. But a plethora of food festivals, food museums, markets, food and wine routes offer a gastronomic adventure today (see Emilia Romagna Tourism).
Honey and bee products are an important part of the region’s agricultural output. The National Institute of Beekeeping (Formerly the INA, now known as CRA-API) is located in Bologna since it was established in 1931. This houses an exhibition of hives and equipment of the past including cork bark hives from Sardinia and models of apiaries of regional villages. It is the home of the Big Honey Competition – ‘Grandi Mieli d’Italia’ held since 1980 in Castel San Pietro Terme in the province of Bologna where the best honeys in Italy are awarded from one to three “Drops of Gold”.
Bagno di Romagna (Forlì-Cesena)
Castel San Pietro Terme (Bologna).
Types of Honey
- Acacia – ‘Miele di acacia’ (Robinia pseudoacacia L.)
- Alfalfa – ‘Miele di erba medica’ (Medicago sativa L.)
- Chestnut – ‘Miele di castagno’ (Castanea sativa Mill)
- Chestnut of Modena Apennines – ‘Miele di castagno dell’Appennino modenese’
- Dandelion – ‘Miele tarassaco (Dente di Leone)’ (Taraxacum officinale Web)
- Fir Honeydew (Spruce & Fir) – ‘Melata d’abete’ (Fir: Abies alba and Red Spruce: Picea excelsa) (Insects: Cinara costate, C. piceae, Physokermes hemicryphus)
- Lime Tree (aka Linden or Basswood) – ‘Miele di tiglio, Miele di tiglio, mel tiglio’ (Tilia spp., Tilia platyphyllos, Tila cordata) Found in the hilly Pre-appennines area up to 1300 meters. (Tasting notes: Quite aromatic with a strong menthol smell. Light yellow to amber)
- Wildflower – ‘Miele Millefiori’
- Mountain Honey of Emilia-Romagna – ‘Miele del crinale dell’appennino Emiliano Romagno’ (Mainly produced in the Apennines, from sainfoin, sulla, chestnut, blackberry, raspberry, plum and wild blueberry and heather)
- Alfalfa Honey of the Plains of Emilia-Romagna – ‘Miele di erba medica della pianura Emiliano Romagnola’ (Mainly produced in the Po Valley from legumes, especially alfalfa)
- Wildflower Honey of the Modena Plain – ‘Miele millefiori della pianura modenese’
- Wildflower Honey of the Modena Apennines – ‘Miele millefiori dell’Appennino modenese’ (differs from the plain wildflower by the presence of chestnut)
Less Common/Rare or limited production:
- Honey Cherry – ‘Miele di ciliegio’ (Prunus spp.)
- Coriander – ‘Miele di coriandolo’ (Coriandrum sativum)
- Honey Melon – ‘Miele di melone o popone’ (Cucumis melo)
- Rape – ‘Miele di colza’ (Brassica napus)
- Sainfoin – ‘Miele di lupinella’ (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.)
- Sunflower – ‘Miele di girasole’ (Helianthus annuus L.)
PAT – Honey certified as a Traditional Italian Food.
Honey identified and cataloged by the Arc of Taste (Slow Foods)
References and Further Reading
Italian – Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy