Saffron, the love's ingredient
It enriches meals with his enveloping aroma, rich with beneficial properties for the body, and it has been used for centuries to colour Oriental-styled cloths thanks to its bright nuances. We are talking about the saffron, a precious delight of the Umbrian gastronomy.
Yellow saffron: colour and parfum of Umbria
The production of saffron, the so called red gold, concerned Umbria since old times; in the famous small poem "De Croci Culti", Pierfrancesco Giusto describes minutely the cultural practice of the ancient zaffarame.
At that time the flowers were precious for dyeing prestigious fabrics, thanks to the typical yellowish colour, derived from the pistil's color.
The price is proportional not just to the raw material, but especially to the subtle and detailed work carried out to obtain the final product.
Each gram of saffron is made of about 200 stigmas, harvested in the short time of blossoming in the first hours of the day, exploiting the flowers' opening moment, so not to cause traumas to the plant. After a detailed selection, it is either naturally dried or it is roasted so that the flower will reach a dusty consistency.
Saffron among the Umbria Region's excellences
In the last few years Umbria renewed its interest for this cultivation, adding to this production the traditional gastronomic productive activities. Several are the producers consortiums and associations that bring up the Umbrian saffron's name. This production, an important reason for the Region's pride, accompanies the local history and enhances the peculiarities of cultivation and packaging places.
Saffron to love
This aromatic spice has been symbolizing love in all its forms since ancient times: the Greek myth narrates Crocos and Smilace's history. He, who is mortal and in love with the nymph Smilace, beautiful and young forever, was turned into the saffron's plant and she in the rough smilax.
The god Ermes used this spice to reawaken the love's desire of tired couples, thanks to its famous aphrodiasiac powers.
For a perfumed and colorful menu of receptions, saffron in cuisine is surprisingly very versatile; from first courses to meat, combined with vegetables, cheese, desserts and liquors, it will color all your dishes with gold.
Colorful and delicate, it is also appreciated to pack the favors, putting the dried flowers in small jars or ampoules; it is an original solution for an elegant wedding that exalts the wonderful Umbrian excellences.