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Saffron

A tradition of medieval origin

Saffron originates in Asia Minor. It was introduced to Europe by Arabic conquerors and to Italy in the 14th century. It was used as a dye, in cosmetics and as a remedy, on account of its antioxidant properties. Historical documents tell us that the flower from which it is sourced was cultivated in the province of Florence as early as the 14th century. They also report that it was sold in other countries with the name 'Zima di Firenze'.

Several Florentine growers started cultivating the flowers once again in the 1950s. Today this crop covers roughly 50 hectares in central Italy and Tuscany, in the province of Florence, Siena, Grosseto and Arezzo.

Saffron grows well in a typically Mediterranean climate and on sunbathed hills. Saffron flowers are harvested by hand and the stigma is removed manually from the flower. The stigmas are then dried and preserved in air-tight and light-proof containers or little bags.

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