Zafferano -Saffron. When we hear this word, we think of India, of Iran, a Middle Eastern spice, but why is it so much used in Italian cuisine?
Simply because it is a spice produced in Italy for centuries, in various regions and has always been used for cooking, for cheese ,for dyeing fabrics, painting and for medicines.
Since 2005, the Zafferano di San Gimignano has the DOP and the DOP Saffron Consortium of San Gimignano was established in May 2017 and promotes and enhances one of the most authentic products of our territory.
The Saffron of San Gimignano is represented exclusively by the dried stigmas of the “Crocus sativus L.”. Historically it has always been considered of “superior” quality, it is mainly used in cooking and it is put on the market leaving the stigmas in threads.
The most common question is why saffron is so expensive, even called “ red gold”.So many flowers are grown, harvested and treated with such care you do not produce much.The flowers are picked by hand, before opening, early in the morning in October and November.
The same day as the flowers are harvested a manual operation to separate the red-orange part of the stigmas from the yellowish part of the same.
Then drying and packaging is carried out
250.000 flowers are needed for one kilo of saffron.
A 0.1 grams pack is enough to flavor 4 servings.That’s to say that even if the cost seems high,it is not so much considering the back value of such a tasty,colourful and healthy spice.
Many thanks for the photos to Elisa Buti and Spinapolice.