Saffron cultivation in San Gimignano dates back to 1200 A.D. In fact, a significant stream of export to Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, was documented throughout the Middle Ages; a time when trade was generally in the opposite direction. This testified to the high level of quality of this saffron, which today boasts Protected Denomination of Origin, D.O.P. status. The reason for such excellence can be attributed to many combining elements. The Crocus plant, in fact, needs a healthy, well-drained, permeable soil, and a climate with average annual rainfall, not high, but of typical winter distribution, with drought in the summer. Both conditions are present in the hills of San Gimignano.
In addition, the entire production cycle of San Gimignano Saffron requires great precision and exactness, from the selection of bulb-tubers to their planting, from working the soil, to the continuous monitoring of the crop. And lastly, on average it takes at least a thousand flowers to produce forty grams of fresh flowers, which are the equivalent of just eight grams of dried flowers.
Botteghe D’Italia will guide you to discover the refined world of this rare venerable Tuscan plant, recounting its fascinating story. You will be shown the production process of a precious flower, through to using the stamens in the kitchen, with recipes that will delight your taste buds. Please contact us and we will organise an ad hoc tour!
For 4 servings.
Put the entire contents of the sachet in half a glass of warm water and let it soak for about 30 minutes. Sauté an onion in olive oil until it browns, then add the rice. After a couple of minutes, pour a little white wine over it all, and turn up the heat to evaporate. Cook with a warmed vegetable stock and add the saffron and its water. Add a knob of butter and stir continuously.