|The Village of Riomaggiore|
|Italy, Cinque Terre is found on the coast in the North|
Cinque Terre has been mentioned in historical documents from as early as the 11th century. The villages grew under the rule of the Republic of Genoa and defensive structures and fortifications were built in the 16th century as a defense against the Turks. The completion of the railroad in 1870 made the area less isolated and efforts in the 1970s to promote the area to tourists made it a major tourist attraction.
The terraced lands around Cinque Terre produce wine (Cinque Terre and Sciachetra) and olives, and the area is known for its Genoese pesto sauce, focaccia bread, lemons, seafood (Monterosso is particularly known for its anchovies), grappa and limoncello- the last two being a type of brandy and a sweet liqueur flavored with lemons, respectively. Of note, Corniglia, one of the five villages, is also known for a gelato flavor made with local honey called (rather descriptively) as "miel de Corniglia."
|The Village of Monterorosso la Mare|
My honey, however, is from the village of Monterosso al Mare, the western most of the five villages. It is easy to distinguish Monterosso from the rest of the villages because it is the only one with a sandy beach and has the bell tower of a San Francesco church as a prominent feature.
There are many micro-climates in the area and as a consequence there is an abundance of floral diversity: oak, Aleppo pine, chestnut, sea fennel, rue, heather, rosemary, lavender, myrtle, red juniper, madder, honeysuckle and sarsaparilla, to name a few honey sources. As you can imagine this lush landscape produces a variety of honeys, notable among them are: heather, acacia, chestnut and wildflower.
|Wildflower Honey, Monterosso al Mare, Italy|
My wildflower honey is opaque and has a dull golden, tan color. It has already completely crystallized, but not in big chunks, more with a uniform consistency that you see in whipped honey. It has the heady smell of summer flowers that reminds me of dandelions on a hot summer day. It twirls easily on my toothpick, a little in sheets. The crystallized consistency gives it a bit of texture, but this melts quickly. It isn't overly sweet and has distinct floral overtones with a subtle hint of molasses, then a clean sweetness with a menthol-herbal aftertaste. This is a somewhat complex and very tasty honey. Given the texture it would be perfect on toast, but may not be runny enough for drizzling on plain yoghurt. It would also add a subtle floral flavor to teas, but may be overpowered by a strong tea.
I couldn't find an online seller for this honey, so you'll just have to make a note to stock up next time you are in Cinque Terre!