Honey has been used in the Marche since the dawn of time to sweeten food and beverages.
The old tradition of rudimentary beehives not far from the farm has become more refined over time, first with the invention of the Marchigian hive (now obsolete yet once in widespread use also in other regions), and then with more modern beekeeping technology.
The hills of the Marche, which is home to, among other things, forage legumes, lucerne and sainfoin, provide bees with an abundance of vital nectar.
The quality of honey made in the Marche is due in no small part to a common weed, stachis, or ‘grass of the Madonna’.
The honey is sweet, not very aromatic and light in colour.
Among the many types made here in the region, the most prized ones are the Millefiori, or wildflower, varieties. The differences in their flavourful personality are surprising. These variations are due to their multiform botanical composition and the local weather, because every season brings forth another aroma and flavour depending on the variety of flora available to the bees and, therefore, the proportions of the nectars gathered and
blended by them. A multiflora honey is, therefore, always different.
Among the single-flora variety is honeydew honey, made with oak honeydew, which is rich in minerals and potassium, and the acacia, sunflower and chestnut honeys.
Using Marchigian honey in a series of recipes, sweets and cheeses is an ancient custom which has only recently been rediscovered.
Several towns in the Marche are members of the City of Honey Association: Belforte all’Isauro (PU), Matelica (MC), Ostra (AN), Pievebovigliana (MC), while in Montelupone (MC) there Is a honey and natural products fair and market every summer, with a quality award given to the finest Marchigian honeys.
Text was taken up and elaborated by the pubblication “Made in Marche – 0km flavours and quality shopping”