Having PGI status, Provence honey comes from a diverse range of plants, which gives it a variety of aromas. In this part of France, the honey most commonly produced is from lavender or lavandin, with a delicately aromatic and tangy flavour; from heather, with a creamy texture and aromas of caramel and cocoa; from rosemary, with delicate flavours; from chestnut trees, with a strong scent and tannic flavour; as well as all-flower honey and forest honey.
Provence honey can be eaten in many different ways, spread on bread, to sweeten hot drinks, in gingerbread, in sweet and sour recipes, in mead or the famous Sault nougat. It is known for its many health benefits, especially for strengthening the immune system, soothing sore throats, encouraging healing of wounds and combatting insomnia.
In Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, there are about 4,500 beekeepers and nearly 165,000 hives, producing around 2,000 tonnes of honey a year. There is a honey festival every year at the end of April at Mouans-Sartoux, in Alpes-Maritimes, and also at Roquebrune-sur-Argens, in Var, every October. If you would like to visit a hive, head to the Living Bee Museum (Musée Vivant de l'Abeille) at Valensole in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence!