TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK
250 gr - Corsica
Summer chestnut honey - Châtaigneraie d'Eté - is produced mainly from chestnut flowers with anthyllis, blackberry and genet blossoms also contributing. Harvested in July, this amber honey has a slow developing and complex flowery sweet taste with a light bitter finish. It will marry with many dishes, most notably with cheese. Chestnut honey is the most abundantly produced on Corsica, benefiting from nature's summer largess. It crystallizes naturally.
Honey is an important product on Corsica, so much so that it has received the protected designation of AOC status (Appellation d'Origine Controlée) - no other French honey-producing region has achieved this distinction. This official label was given in recognition of the quality, distinguishing characteristics, specific taste and clearly defined geographical origin of Corsican honeys. They are labeled either for the season of their production (spring, summer or autumn) or the type of flower that the bees are pollinating (Clementine blossom, chestnut blossom).
The variety of Corsican honeys derives from the geographical exposure of the hives. Many Corsican beekeepers are still nomadic, moving their hives from sea level in the spring to higher altitudes during summer and fall, following a tradition called "transhumance." This process gives Corsican bees access to different flora, mainly within the maquis, a complex and intricate mix of bushes and aromatic herbs, and also to the flowers of chestnut trees. The flowers of the woody shrubs of the maquis vary considerably in the spring, summer and fall. Typically, spring honey (Miel de Maquis de Printemps) is marked strongly by sea lavender, summer honey (Miel de Châtaigneraie) by chestnut flowers, and fall honey (Miel de Maquis d'Automne) by the blossoms of the strawberry tree which is called the corbezzolo by the Sardinians.
Although designated AOC relatively recently, these honeys have been known in the Mediterranean since antiquity and were once an object of trade within the Roman Empire, along with beeswax by-products. According to Theophrastus, writing in the third century BC, the large number of centenarians on Corsica could be attributed to Corsican honeys and their unique composition, origin and sustaining properties.
About the Producers
Antoine and Dominique Poggi have their home in Zevaco, in the Taravu valley of southern Corsica. In the past, every family in Zevaco owned a few hives and produced honeys for personal consumption as well as for barter for other goods. This region has a rich bee-keeping tradition, and ancient hives, called "caroni," carved in the trunks of old chestnut trees, may still be found. In Zevaco, the hives located around the village are stationary due to an ideal geographical location of 1800 ft above sea level, which allows exposure within the bees' range to three flowering seasons.
A Bit About Corsica
The Mediterranean island of Corsica -- "la montagne dans la mer," or the mountain in the sea -- is a land of small traditional farms where the olive, the chestnut, and the clementine reign supreme. Goats and sheep dot the rugged landscape of forest and maquis.
Rugged Corsica is located within sight, on a clear day, of Sardinia and Tuscany. Although it has been a part of France for over 200 years, Corsica shares much culturally with Italy, particularly Sardinia and Tuscany, notably with respect to its truly spectacular food products. (Linguistically too - the Corsican language, now a distant second to French, is similar to the native Tuscan language.)
Corsica is famously a land of traditions perpetuated since time immemorial, with historical influences from the Greeks, the Saracens of North Africa and Asia Minor, and the Romans. Its agriculture has been intertwined with a broad Mediterranean trade since antiquity. This heritage lives on and today Corsica is a rich source of artisan foods, presented to you with Corsican pride.