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Saffron A spice from Quercy

A spice of fire and gold...


An interesting local particularity is the fact that the Cajarc region and the Causse de Saint-Chels are conducive to the cultivation of saffron crocus. In fact, these precious blooms appreciate the area’s mild, arid climate.  The treasure is hidden at the heart of the flowers. Their pistils give the saffron its characteristic filaments, to flavour dishes from the most basic to the most sophisticated. Its visual and aesthetic appearance has also inspired highly original artistic creations. 

 

Harvest

PATIENCE AND KNOW-HOW

  • The flowers bloom for about three weeks, beginning in October. The life of each one is fleeting, lasting no more than 48 hours. You really have to catch them at just the right time! 
     

  • The harvesting techniques are very precise and go back all the way to the 15th century! The blossoms are delicately cupped in the palm of the hand before slicing through the stem with a fingernail. And then starting all over again, because it takes 200 flowers to produce just 1 gram of saffron!

You have a date with this spice!

 

SAFFRON FESTIVAL IN CAJARC


Each year, the growers’ association Les Safraniers du Quercy holds a traditional festival focussing on the spice. It’s a great opportunity to learn a little more about the famed Crocus sativus linnaeus, from planting to harvesting, by way of pruning, and all the way to your plate.

 

Visit the farmers


The countryside around Cajarc and the Causse de Saint-Chels are dotted with Saffron fields. The growers await you at their farms – in many cases handed down from father to son – to share their exquisite passion for this “red gold”.

 

Growers

Gourmets and foodies will appreciate the multiple uses of saffron: in liqueurs, savoury dishes, sweets and more...

Cooking with saffron