The best varieties of Italian honey


A product as old as time... or almost!

We are talking about honey, a true miracle cure with multiple benefits and widely used in traditional Italian cuisine in dozens of varieties that differ in colour, consistency and properties.

Let's learn more about its characteristics and see which Italian honey varieties are the most popular.

Honey: a little history

Honey itself has a very long history: the earliest documented evidence of its use dates back some 3,000 years before the birth of Christ, when the ancient Egyptians began extracting jars or honeycombs filled with honey from horizontal terracotta cylindrical hives, and developed the first form of nomadic beekeeping.

Although regarded as a luxury food, the ancient Egyptians understood the healing properties of honey: they used it to relieve digestive disorders and to treat wounds and burns. 

The Sumerians, Assyrians and Babylonians expanded the uses of honey even further: if the Sumerians used it for cosmetic purposes, it was the Assyrians and Babylonians who applied it to skin problems and eye and genital infections. It was also in their wake that honey began its long journey of being used to prepare excellent dishes.

Why are there different varieties of honey?

A number of factors influence the taste and characteristics of each variant of honey.

Among the most important of these is the type of flowers from which the honeybees extract nectar: a sugary substance secreted by the flowers, the nectar is collected by forager bees and deposited in the so-called "honey bag", where the honey begins to be processed and enriched with enzymes. This is where the bees return to the hive, delivering nectar to other bees that continue the processing. Honey retains the aroma and characteristics of the flowers from which it is derived: therefore the honey extracted from one flower will have a different structure and flavour to that obtained from another flower.

bees making honey

Other elements that influence the characteristics and taste of honey are the climate, the harvest period  and the processing and storage techniques used by the beekeeper.

The properties and benefits of honey

Boasting well-known healing benefits, honey is a true panacea that acts as a cure-all for many illnesses and viral problems. Years of research have revealed its extremely rich composition, which includes proteins, vitamins, amino acids, minerals, organic acids, but also - in its pure raw form - polyphenols, flavonoids, alkaloids and glycosides.

Highly antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-proliferative and even anti-cancer and anti-metastatic, honey has many positive effects: 

  • Helps to soothe coughs and sore throats, thanks to its decongestant effect on the upper respiratory tract
  • It is a valuable source of energy
  • Slows down the ageing process and fights free radicals
  • Regenerates tissue that has been torn by wounds
  • Reduces the risk of infection and inflammation
  • It has an emollient effect on the skin
  • Promotes relief for constipation
  • Effectively fights infections of the gastrointestinal tract.

To enjoy the benefits of honey, simply consume around one teaspoon per day (20 grams).

Given the risk of botulism in infants, honey may only be fed from the age of 12 months.

The best types of Italian honey

Now let us consider the most popular and enduring types of Italian honey. These include:

  • Acacia honey: light-coloured and with a mild flavour, it promotes intestinal balance and is very useful in the case of sore throats and stomach acidity
  • Chestnut honey: characterised by its dark colour and has considerable anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, as well as being indicated in the treatment of ulcers
  • Eucalyptus honey: invaluable in providing relief from respiratory ailments such as coughs, catarrh, asthma, colds
  • Wildflower honey: boosts the immune system and cleanses the body, leading to faster recovery in situations of illness and flu
  • Dandelion honey: an excellent diuretic, it helps drain fluids and eliminate toxins
  • Linden honey: excellent anti-inflammatory, effective against stomach pains, menstrual pains and has considerable relaxing and calming effects.

Looking for some real Italian honey? Visit our shop and buy the best Made in Italy honey varieties online!

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