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/What is Saffron?/

Saffron is a small plant (Crocus sativus) belonging to the Iridaceae family and it is cultivated in Asia and many Mediterranean countries. The name saffron originates from the latin word “safranum” (from the Arabian word zaʻfarān) and it means “yellow”


Saffron is obtained from a small plant (Crocus sativus) of the iridaceae family.

By Saffron (from the Arabic zafran) we mean only a small part of it: the flowers of the Crocus in fact have a red stigma in the center divided into three filaments about 3 cm long and this is the Saffron that is used in culinary preparations.


Cultivation for commercial purposes began in the mid-nineteenth century and soon reached considerable quantities of production, thanks to the constant demand from French and northern European companies. This cultivation was then drastically reduced due to competition from synthetic products that perform the same (or almost the same) function at considerably lower costs.

Thus only its ornamental function and the botanical interest of many passionate growers remained to the Giaggiolo. Only recently has there been a new interest in the iris for the uses for which it was known and which had made it an important voice of the Chianti economy.

Known since ancient times and present since time immemorial in the territory of Florence and Chianti, also known as the ‘orchid of the poor’ and dear to poets and stornellatori, it owes its name (Iris) to a Greek goddess: Iris, daughter of Taumante and of Electra, to which the Greeks attributed the phenomenon of the rainbow.

/Made with Saffron/

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The harvest begins towards the end of October and ends with the end of November.

The flowers are picked early in the morning so as not to damage the stigmas.

Then the stigmas themselves are detached and, on sieves, are left to dry in the heat of the selected wood embers

After drying, the whole stigmas are packaged in glass vials to keep their characteristics intact.

A quarter gram vial contains sufficient Saffron for the preparation of recipes for 6/8 people

The production of stigmas reaches up to 10-15 kg per hectare, and more than 50 kg of flowers are needed to obtain a kg of fresh stigmas. After drying, one kg of fresh stigmas will reduce to about 200g.