The 12th Saffron Fair perpetuates a rediscovered tradition. What can be done with a gramme!
It's a little blue flower that everyone wants. To net a gramme of saffron you need a hundred flowers minimum. So it's easy to understand the hope and despair of producers when they ponder the crop, before harvesting the precious stigmae. It's nicknamed 'red gold' for its rarity and its colour, obviously, but also for its unmistakable taste, which is a feast for the tastebuds.
the salle des fêtes, and this year was held in the gymnasium.
So we are talking about a renaissance in the heart of a district with some thirty producers. They also come from neighbouring le Grand Pressigny, to swell an event that in good years and bad welcomes a thousand visitors.
People come to buy the finest spice at a price they can afford. Depending on the stall rather than on the quality, the price ranges from 18-25 €. 'We generally advise a price around €20' says Agnès Devijver, the President of the Saffron Producers Association in Touraine, created four years ago.
I was glad to see many of our neighbours at the fair, including our friendly lady orchard neighbours (who introduce me in exactly the same way, as their voisine du verger). They have seen Simon's work in the potager and approve. They also quite enjoy seeing themselves occasionally on the blog I think. You can see one of them peeking out from behind the sous-chef above. I also ran into Jean-Louis, who was one of the team who made our staircase. I was pleased to see him, as I haven't done so for a while, and as many of our local readers will know, he tragically lost his son a couple of months ago. I did my best to offer condolences, and he appreciated that, but it is very sad. Also on my 'chat list' was Monsieur Mériguet, who has taught us so much about saffron. He was unimpressed by my feeble excuses about why I haven't done any dyeing yet with the saffron flowers he provided though. He was hoping I would have something for the fair. Oh well - next year I guess.