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Spice of excellence: saffron. Cultivation and curiosity.

2021-05-02 11:32

Anna Sipione

sicilia, zafferano, curiosità, antiossidanti, risotto alla milanese,

Spice of excellence: saffron. Cultivation and curiosity.

The spice that makes Italian dishes unique, and which requires a lot of care to obtain it

On the slopes of Etna saffron is also grown, included in the Boniviri spice rose

When it comes to saffron, you have to

seize the moment! The saffron harvest lasts only 20 days and is done at dawn, before that the stigmas open so that the aroma is preserved, in the period between the end of October and the beginning of November. In order not to damage the pistils, in fact, the operations must be carried out strictly by hand by specialized collectors, who detach the three stigmas one by one.

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It is calculated, in fact, that more than 160,000 flowers are needed to produce 1 kg of saffron, equal to

about 68 kg. of saffron is a mine of substances precious for the body: since saffron is one of the most powerful antioxidants, it fights free radicals, responsible for the acceleration of cellular aging. In addition, this spice promotes digestive functions, stimulates the digestive system.Saffron

is obtained from the seedling of “Crocus sativus ”.

The name Crocus derives from the Greek Kroke, which means 'filament ', due to the filamentous stigmas that it carries in

the center of the corolla. It is a small herbaceous plant, 15 to 40 centimeters high. It is grown in well-dissolved soils, burying the bulbs at a depth of 5-8 centimeters and equally distant from each other. The part of the saffron that interests us is the flower, in particular the stigmas. Each flower has an average of 3 stigmas which appear as orange-red filaments. The red of the stigmas, in contact with liquids, produces an intensely yellow color that has made the traditional Milanese risotto and any dish treated with

saffron unmistakable.The stigmas of saffron contain over 150 volatile aromatic substances, components of its essential

oil. This is made up of 4 main chemical substances which give it its specific organoleptic qualities: crocin and crocetin which give it its characteristic color, picrocrocin which gives it the bittering power and safranal which

gives it its unmistakable aroma. The latter is an organic compound capable of positively influencing brain activity. For this reason it is used in phytotherapy in the treatment of mood disorders.

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