Saffron Crocus sativus has been cultivated since the Bronze Age but it does not exist in the wild. The bulb is grown from southern Europe to Kashmir, mostly by small producers, but the plant is sterile and does not set seed. It reproduces by multiplying bulbs (very rapidly, if the saffron in our potager is anything to go by) but its genetic variability is therefore very low.
stigmae, which form the spice.
1. Saffron is very valuable and the harvest very small with high labour costs. This means it is commonly adulterated and other substances fraudulently sold as saffron.
sides so that the feather light produce does not fly out.
4. Saffron consumption is increasing faster than production, and users do not always understand the differences between saffron of different sources. At the moment the ISO (International Standard) only measures the strength of colour, but ignores aroma and flavour. This is currently under review.
Paul Meriguet's mantlepiece.
I am happy to say that Preuilly is doing its bit to ensure that saffron does not die out in France. Every year in February there is a Saffron Fair here, and on the first Saturday in July the bulbs can be purchased from the main producer, Paul Meriguet in Preuilly's market place.