Can you imagine pulling tiny pistils out of 150,000 crocus flowers – one by one? That is how many it takes to produce 1 kilogram of saffron! And it is all done by hand – just as it has been done for over 3,500 years.
The La Mancha region of Spain is famous for its high quality saffron that is used to give flavor, aroma and color to many wonderful traditional dishes, including the increasingly popular paella! Today, the saffron market is filled with saffron from Spain, Turkey and many countries of the Middle East. The important factor in determining quality is a saffron’s power of coloration. According to the ISO norms, grade 1 saffron has a power of coloration above 190 UPC (units of power of coloration). Matiz Azafrán, used by the world renowned chef Ferran Adria, regularly tests at over 240 UPC. This pure Spanish saffron is packaged in beautiful recycled glass jars and hand-sealed with wax.