Cultivation of saffron has very ancient origins, it dates back to the late middle-age. It is a DOPproduce (Protected Denomination Origin) and it’s grown and dried with natural methods, according to the tradition, which means in proximity of burning coals of fine local wood.
Magic of saffron
Saffron from San Gimignano must be picked by hand within 24 hours, then cleaned and manually dehydrated in special ovens, where it loses up to 90% of its weight.
It takes 250,000 flowers to make a kilogram of saffron, each of them with their bright red stigmas in evidence, representing their unmistakable origin.
Stigmas are then packed as a whole, to preserve their high quality, to enhance their perfume and their aroma, slightly bitter to the end.
Its quality is easy and objective to measure, as it consists of 3 active principles: Crocin – responsible for the colouring power; Crocetin – gives it a bitter taste; Safranal – providing smell intensity. Data shows that the blend of these 3 elements is so successful compared to others, that even one tenth of a gram is enough for great culinary success.