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Molineta Spanish Saffron - 0.5g

£4.50

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WHAT IS SAFFRON

Saffron is considered to be the king of the spices. It is obtained from the saffron flower, and more precisely from the three red stigmas. These stigmas have to be hand-picked and toasted almost immediately, a process which is unique and characteristic of La Mancha area. This peculiarity, together with soil and weather conditions allows saffron from La Mancha to be considered the best in the world. From the very heart of La Mancha, Molineta de Minaya presents genuine saffron, full of culinary and medicinal properties for all food lovers. The saffron flower is very delicate and has to be picked at the early hours of dawn. Later the three red stigmas are extracted from the flower. Despite technological advances, no system has been invented to mechanise this process, they are still hand-picked. Finally the red stigmas are toasted at different temperatures, a very complicated process which is passed on from generation to generation. Nearly two hundred thousand flowers are needed to produce one kilogram of saffron. Saffron flowers require at least one thousand square kilometres of farming land, thus it is not surprising that at certain times saffron reached the same price as gold, and was named red gold. Since the 9th century when Arabs introduced saffron into the Iberian Peninsular the process of harvesting and preparation has been perfected until reaching the utmost quality which we can enjoy today. There have been various literary references to saffron in La Mancha since 1720. However the importance which saffron has on many peoples lives can still be shown today through customs. Saffron is given to newlyweds to wish them prosperity. The guaranteeing body of origin from the Mancha recommends that saffron should be packed in threads, never ground in order to ensure that it has not been mixed with other poorer quality saffron. This way it is possible to preserve its rich aroma (enchancing the ingredients of any dish), flavour (adding a slightly bitter touch) and colour (converting a paella into a festival of colour). Molineta de Minaya saffron has ten times more colouring power than any other additive.

SAFFRON FROM MINAYA

Minaya is a small village situated in the heart of La Mancha, to the north of Albacete. Until recently most of its inhabitants took an active part in growing and preparing saffron. Planting seeds in spring, and observing the change in landscape from September to November as the saffron flowers bloomed and the penetrating aroma filled ever corner of their houses. Both adults and children took part in saffron harvesting, and the days when the flowers were in full bloom they had to call on neighbouring villages to lend a hand, to ensure that all the flowers were picked at the right moment thus preserving the final quality of the saffron.