Greek saffron considered the best in the world

Greek Organic Saffron

With its mild climate, Kozani in Macedonia produces the best quality organic saffron in the world and has been growing in this area for the last 500 years.

Kozani merchants with successful businesses in Central Europe knew the value of the product from back then and although saffron is also grown in Spain, Morocco and Central Asian countries, saffron from Greece is considered the best quality worldwide.

saffron Greece
Organic Saffron

Cleopatra used it to infuse her bathwater, while Alexander the Great bathed his battle wounds with it and drank saffron tea.

Saffron, the gold of Greek land as it is called, is one of the most precious spices of ancient cultures because of its aroma, colour, pharmaceutical and aphrodisiac properties.

saffron Kozani

Locals plant saffron every summer, and when autumn comes, they remove the stigmas of the flower by hand and dry them thoroughly to make slim crimson threads. It takes about 50,000 stigmas to obtain 100 grams of red saffron.

Annual production depends upon weather conditions and ranges from 6 to 12 tons of pure red saffron annually. It is exported to all European Union countries, Japan, Switzerland, the USA, United Arab countries, Australia and elsewhere, costing between 8000 and 10000 € per kilo

Saffron is increasing in popularity since new research concludes that the saffron stigmas possess strong antioxidant properties that can neutralise free radicals and improve brain function and memory.

In 1971, the Greek saffron (Krokos Kozanis) growers formed the Cooperative de Safran; since then, the cooperative has been responsible for harvesting, sorting, processing, packaging and trading the whole saffron production.

As of 1998, Greek red saffron has entered the “Register of Protected Designations of Origin” (PDO). Krocus Kozanis Products S.A., established in 2007, is a joint venture between the Cooperative de Saffran of Kozani.

Kozani saffron

As the flowers begin to blossom in mid-October, they are typically hand-gathered by women, who place them in their gowns or baskets and then take them home in panniers.

The work requires a delicate hand and usually lasts from dawn to dusk for a month. The flowers are collected at dawn when their petals are still closed so that exposure to atmospheric agents won't affect their organoleptic properties.

In the next step, the red stigmas, typically in groups of three, are separated from the flowers. They are set out to dry on the same day at a temperature of around 35 degrees Celsius before the red pistils are separated from the yellow ones, thereby eliminating pollens and foreign elements.

Kozani Saffron

This step must also be carried out by hand, taking between 20 to 60 days. Finally, the pistils are weighed and packaged to verify that the product conforms to the quality management's strict standards.

Producers that don't respect the parameters are immediately eliminated in order to guarantee the product's quality. The "red gold" then arrives in countless homes as a spice, used for everything from pastries and cheese-making to pasta and liquor.

It has also become a popular medicinal remedy, thanks to its digestive and anti-inflammatory properties and is used in many hair and beauty products.


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