Animal products (honey, dairy products of various kinds excluding butter);
1. Product name:
Miele di castagno toscano
2. Other names:
3. Short product description:
Produced in the highlands, Tuscan chestnut honey has a liquid consistency with a brilliant, varied amber-brown colour. It’s not an overly sweet honey, but has a somewhat bitter aftertaste and intense aroma. It remains liquid for a long time, has a light golden amber colour and intense and aromatic woodsy fragrance. Like all dark honeys, it’s particularly rich in minerals. It’s a mild urinary tract disinfectant and stimulates the circulation with benefits to the kidney and liver.
4. Production area:
All Tuscan territories that cultivate chestnuts. Chestnut honey from the Alta Versilia, Amiata, Valle del Serchio, Val di Bisenzio, Casentino and Lunigiana are particularly prized.
5. Production status:
r disappeared r at risk r active
6. Production process:
To extract the honey, the wooden frames are uncapped (i.e. the wax that seals the honey cells is removed) and then centrifuged to remove the honey from the cells. The honey is then left to settle after being filtered through a filter sock. From settling, it’s packaged in a jar. A dehumidifier is used in the extracting room to stop the air’s humidity from getting into the honey, as it is a highly hygroscopic product.
7. Materials, equipment and premises used for production:
s Hives, honey super and wooden frames
s Extractor, centrifugal honey extractor
s Container for decanting (settling)
s Filters and other equipment for product storage
8. Notes on traditionalism, homogeneity of spread and persistence of production rules over time:
Chestnut honey has always been produced in Tuscan territories with a high number of chestnut orchards, as numerous historical texts and documents demonstrate, and has, for a long time, supplemented a farm’s primary production. In the past, every family had a hive, but its honey – a product rich in nutrients and beneficial properties – was always considered a secondary product. More recently, some farms have made the decision to keep bees and produce honey as their primary product. While maintaining many of its traditional processing methods, beekeeping has been modernised primarily to meet current quality standards. Honey naturally reflects the unique aspects of the environment in which it’s produced and is distilled with elements that set it apart, creating a unique and impossible to imitate foodstuff. Each site has its own heritage of unique nectar essences. Chestnut honey pairs well with hard goat’s, sheep or cow’s cheese.
Official census data from the Tuscan Regional Government shows the total annual production of chestnut honey to be around 10,000 tonnes.