Trying to socialise and explore this new part of France where I settled down a little while ago, I randomly ran into a chance to explore a saffron farming, “Safran dans volcans”, and meet Michel, passionate about this flower and this precious spice.
The good thing when you don’t know nothing, is that there is plenty to learn about !
I can confess that I don’t remember everything he told us that day (and he has plenty to say), but already having the chance to see, understand, but most of all : smell and taste, was already great enough to remember, even if, so far, I’ve never used that spice when cooking.
Saffron is harvested in September/October, and at that time of the year, morning were already freezing cold.
The field was much smaller than I expected, but thinking about it, it made sense : saffron comes from a small crocus (safran being its pistil), so there is no need to have a huge field to harvest, unless you are a big team of workers, but that wasn’t the case here.
it will take us a few minutes to see the actual flowers there.
Can you see them ?
The goal there was to pick the flowers before they bloom, in order to have the purest pistil possible (no air, no light, no humidity, no animals walking around).
The purest = the better = the rarest = the most expensive.
And then we went inside, to have more explanations about it, but most of all : to separate the pistil from the rest of the flower.
Saffron comes from a crocus, and that’s the red part of the pistil that we will cut, and then dry, to use as a spice.
Humidity and fragility of the flower requires that we work fast on this if we want to preserve the quality of the saffron.
Petals will be used later on by the cosmetic and perfume industry.
Our visit ends up with tasting several products using saffron, but also smelling the different ranges of saffron.
I think I’ve never tasted saffron before, or at least never a good one.
This is not a spice that I use when cooking but I now know that when I’ll intend to, I will buy a French one, and possibly a local one 😉
Gorgeous colors, mersmerizing smell, that was a great way to spend the morning and learn about saffron.