Elia Rossi produces this variety of honey in the mountains around the Lake Maggiore.
Melata is obtained from a sugar secretion (melata) produced on plants by a species of insects (rincote or Metcalfa Pruinosa) feeding on their sap. They sting the plant, suck its sap, and then excrete a sugary component called “melata”. At this point, bees collect it and take it to the beehive. That is why Melata honey is also called plant honey.
It normally remains liquid (but rather sticky) for a long period; crystallization may be faster or slower depending on the nectar combinations. It’s dense, dark amber, almost black. When crystallized it becomes brown. A scent of medium intensity, warm and malty. It smells as if it toasted, and may recall a freshly made tomato sauce.
Moderately intense taste, with a salty aftertaste that does not last long. It reminds of dry fruit and malt. Some may also find it has a “pungent” taste, like food that has been overcooked on woodfire.
Foodpairing: It’s ideal to have it with Erborinato cheeses such as Erborinato San Carlone or even Gorgonzola. Given the sweet flavour of the honey, it combines well with strong cheeses. It’s also used to make pies or cookies.
It is an excellent antiseptic of the breathing system and it is recommended in case of bronchitis and pharyngitis.