07 March 2011

Croatian Saffron anyone?

I watched a show on television last night about saffron.  Saffron is the world's most expensive spice at about 3000-5000 euro per kilo.  It is made up from the three thread-like stigmas found in the middle of the purple crocus flower.  It takes something like 225,000 stigmas to make a kilo of saffron.  Each flower must be hand-picked, and each stigma must be gently pulled out of the delicate flower by hand.  Lots and lots of work.  But worth it.

I'm writing about it here, because they grow saffron in parts of India, Greece, Morocco and Iran.  But it is also grown in Spain, and interestingly in Sardinia and the Abruzzo part of Italy.  This last part is very interesting to me because there are many parts of Croatia that would be well suited for saffron cultivation, and yet I don't think it is being done here.  Of course I'll check this out, but as far as I know it isn't being done.  Maybe I'm naive about this stuff, but it seems like an awesome cash crop that could probably be grown nicely on many of the Croatian islands, and pretty much anywhere along the coastal regions.

I've never actually tasted saffron in my entire life.  I'm planning on trying some soon to see what all the hoopla is about!

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