Long and harsh summers together with very low temperature winters and a clay soil, make of La Mancha the ideal place to harvest Saffron of the best quality. Saffron CERTIFIED not only in Spain but by the EU as of Protected Origin Denomination from La Mancha, is considered by experts and scientists the best saffron in the world due to its numerous health benefits as it has been attributed anticancer, antidepressant and antioxidant properties.
The Servicio de Certificación del Consejo Regulador “Azafrán de La Mancha” has a monitoring process covering every stage of the production, with regular inspections to facilities and sample analysis to prevent fraud.
Growing, harvesting and handling saffron is very difficult. 200,000 flowers are needed for each kilogram of saffron. The whole process, not just for organic saffron but for non-organic too, must be totally natural (without the use of pesticides or any type of chemicals as they damage the flowers) and manual (to preserve the integrity of the stigmas). The threads are strong and flexible and the stigmas show a bright red colour.
The flowers, hand cut, are put in small wicker baskets and stigmas are manually removed, one by one within 12 hours. These are then roasted on a slow fire to maintain optimum quality (not subject to any drying process). Then the saffron is kept free from humidity and light for its preservation.
As saffron temporarily depletes the land for its own harvesting, it is advisable to grow other crops for 10 to 12 years before planting saffron again. This is the reason why in order to grow ORGANIC CERTIFIED saffron, the crops planted on those years as well as any neighbouring crops in other pieces of land must also be certified as organic.
The versatility of this product makes it an ideal ingredient in salty as well as sweet dishes.