In the woodlands of Somma Vesuvio, one of the best honey of Italy is produced. Honey is a product whose origins are very ancient: it was already known by the ancient Egyptians for its antiseptic properties and it was considered a symbol of purity and genuineness thanks to its clear and transparent aspect. The color and perfume of honey depend on the plants used by bees, and therefore by the pollen used to produce it: the rich vegetation of Vesuvius gives the opportunity to produce different kinds of honey which are not only consumed fresh, but also represent the main ingredient of many traditional desserts and sweets, like torrone and struffoli, based on acacia honey. The latter is a specialty in the whole Region.
The territory interested by the production includes the following Municipalities: Somma Vesuviana, Sant'Anastasia, San Giuseppe Vesuviano, San Sebastiano al Vesuvio.
Acacia honey is obtained from acacia nectar: it has a very clear color and a light but characteristic perfume. Its taste recalls the vanilla-scented perfume of flowers. Acacia honey is collected manually between April and October and is left ripening for 3-4 weeks. It is packaged in glass jars and sold not after the autumn of the year after its collection. Also chestnut honey is very ancient and plays an important role in the cooking tradition of Campania: as a matter of fact, it represents - often together with dried fruits - an essential ingredient in the traditional confectionery. Obtained from the nectar of chestnut flowers, this honey has a color going from amber to dark brown. It has a very characteristic perfume, strong and penetrating, and a slightly bitter taste. Also chestnut honey is not subject to crystallization; it is collected between April and October, packaged in glass jars, and sold not after the autumn of the year after its collection. Honeydew honey also deserves a mention: in this case, honey is obtained from honeydews produced by several vegetable species parasitized by one only insect. It has a dark amber color, sometimes recalling pitch, and is almost always in a liquid state.
It is characterized by an intense, vegetable, and fruity perfume; it has a not too sweet taste, with a slightly perceptible salty aftertaste. The aroma of barley malt and caramel is rather intense but not very persistent.