Emilia Romagna Honey

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”.

Honey Cities:

Bagno di Romagna (Forlì-Cesena)
Castel San Pietro Terme (Bologna).
Torriana (Rimini)

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 Certified Traditional Food of Italy (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 Certified Traditional Food of Italy – ‘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 Certified Traditional Food of Italy – ‘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.)

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)

References and Further Reading

Italian – Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy

3 comments to Emilia Romagna Honey

  • Cookie Lipin

    I hade the wonderful experience in visiting Cortona this past Fall and experience Miele di Tiglio
    This honey was the best I have ever tasted. I purchased a jar to bring back with me to the United States and just finishe the last bit in the jar. Is there anywhere in the US that your product is sold?

  • HT

    Miele di Tiglio is also known as Linden tree or Basswood honey. We are very fortunate to have Linden trees growing here in the United States, their nectar-rich calyxes of blossoms spreading sweet perfume and attracting honey bees for miles around. Known as Basswood or Linden Tree honey, it may be bought online at Winter Park Honey. I have bought honey from Winter Park honey before and found it excellent quality. I also have bought it from the Morton Arboretum gift shop in Lisle, IL, where it is made from their Linden tree grove and from Honey Acres in Wisconsin. Check in your local area, you may find it is close enough to turn your quest into a country drive to a local bee farm!

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