Subscribe to


[simage=361, order 512,n,center,]
Crocus Sativus: the flower that brings us saffron

Piero and Raffa planted saffron crocuses (Crocus sativus) last year as part of a trial program sponsored by the local government to determine whether Piedmont could produce salable saffron. They had a very successful harvest and the saffron received a top grade by analysts. Although the quality is high, frequent fall rains in the region will make it difficult to rely on successful harvests. Even so, most of last year’s crocuses are coming back up now. The purple flowers are very delicate and must be picked immediately after they open, or they will decay and the saffron will be lost. Each crocus has three thread-like stigmas, which are the saffron itself. They must be removed carefully by hand from each flower: no automated process can handle this delicate job. After the threads are picked, they must be dried, a process that converts the stigmas’ fresh floral/grassy scent to the famous perfume of the spice. Because collecting saffron requires so much painstaking labor and yields of the delicate threads are small, saffron remains one of the most expensive spices by weight. Vanessa and I have spent some lazy afternoons at the kitchen table with a basket of the morning’s collection of crocuses in front of us, taking one flower at a time, pulling apart its petals and plucking the saffron threads out.


One Response to “Saffron”

  1. on 05 May 2008 at 9:52 ammali

    Hi thanks for your good video…
    it is nice to pick up one part of a flower to make the food delicate
    your web site is very nice and very delicious!!

Leave a Reply