Sunday, 29 November 2015

The Red Gold of Africa

Once a year it is harvest time for saffron and these purple plants of the crocus family are in full bloom for a couple of weeks. We decided to take a Red City PR meeting at the saffron farm "Paradis du Safran" outside Marrakech and get some work done in a tranquile environment.

The purple saffron flowers are harvested manually.

Saffron is known as "the red gold of Africa". High quality saffron costs about 30 Euro/gram at this farm. We were told that 90% of the saffron you find in the world (yes, also in Europe) is fake, substitutes or unpure. So make sure you buy high quality secured saffron when you're out shopping.

Approx 150-200 flowers are needed for just 1 gram of saffron.

Each saffron flower has three red pistilles, these are manually seperated from the flowers and only the red part is used in pure saffron. The saffron plants are very sensitive to climate and a normal farm can harvest 1-5 kg saffron/year.

Harvest in progress

A lot of work to first pick the flowers...

...and then separate the saffron from the flower.

Using real saffron, when you cook or bake, you only use a few straws and you have to use a mortar and then let them souk in some water for 5 minutes. After that you add it to your food, sauce or baking for a fantastic taste.

The final product, ready to be used!

Paradis du Safran is located appprox 30-40 minutes outside Marrakech and you also find beautiful gardens as well as a lot of exotic plants and herbs. A great excursion for a half day trip.

Beautiful views everywhere

One of the three cute resident dogs

They had peacocks at the farm!

The Red City PR team including one of our dogs, Disco, after a productive day of work and planning.
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Now we are ready to enjoy some fish tagine with saffron sauce,