Aromatic Plant Saffron (Crocus sativus)- 14 diam.
Saffron is a herbaceous plant with a bulb belonging to the Iridaceae family. The leaves are long, linear, without stalks of intense green color gathered in tufts from leafy sheaths. The flowers are violet with a very long yellowish stylus, which ends with a stigma divided up into 3 parts, orange in color from which the famous spice is obtained.
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Cultivation Saffron is not a particularly demanding plant. At the time of planting the soil must be fertile, loose and well drained because the bulbs fear the stagnation of water that causes rottenness. This bulb tolerates drought and even very hot summers without problems. It can withstand very cold temperatures in winter. Collection and conservation The harvest of saffron flowers takes place from mid-October to mid-November, it is done by hand in the morning before the flowers are opened. In the day, the flowers must be subjected to the "molding" ie the export of the 3 stigmas. Afterwards it is necessary to proceed with drying, a very delicate operation, where the heat source must not exceed 45 ° C. If the drying has been successful, the stigmas are placed in glass jars away from light and moisture. Or they can be reduced to powder and stored in handy sachets. Use in the kitchen The best combinations are with rice, famous saffron yellow risotto, with crustaceans, seafood, stewed meat and delicate sauces. It is also associated with pasta for pizza, stracchino, butter, breading and fish soups. In these cases saffron colors, enhances and enriches the flavors. Usually it should be added at the end of cooking otherwise you may lose its fragrance and its characteristic flavor. As for the combination with the wine they marry very well with the saffron flavored dishes white wines with a good scented and sparkling structure.