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Important Event: Azafran Harvest

 
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Manuell Alvarez



Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 220

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:36 pm    Post subject: Important Event: Azafran Harvest Reply with quote

Hola Amigos,

An important event is soon to be taking place in Spain when the purple crocus flowers begin to bloom in October and November. They must be harvested within a day of blooming or they will lose their flavor. Castilla-La Mancha appears to be the main growing areas.

The harvest of Azafran, (Saffron), is done by hand and so is the removal of the tiny red stgma in the center of each bloom. Spain provides three quarters of the world's production of this essential seasoning and spice. At one time it was used as currency. The quality of Spanish Saffron is outstanding.

The stigmas are roasted to dry them and they will keep up to three years if stored in a cool and dry place. We have three bottles in our spice racks and I am not sure of the expiration dates. The last bottle bought cost $7.50, and at the time was the most costly spice/seasoning in the store.

Saffron is used in most Spanish recipes and even baked into bread. No matter the cost, one can not make authenic Spanish dishes without Azafran. There is no substitute.

Manny
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1725
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:17 pm    Post subject: Saffron Reply with quote

Good quality saffron is available from one of our shopping affiliates, La Tienda. For those interest in purchasing a full ounce of saffron or more (I use a huge amount of saffron each year), Vanilla Saffron Imports in San Francisco is an excellent source. Talk to Juan, the owner, at (415) 648-8996.

[Art: I've added the La Tienda info below.]

Here's our affiliate link (click on the image):



As always, there's no cost to you to use this link, and it's a great way to support the forum!
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Maestro Tomberi



Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 170
Location: Gijón, Asturias

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Saffron is used in most Spanish recipes and even baked into bread. No matter the cost, one can not make authenic Spanish dishes without Azafran. There is no substitute.



If it's well true that it's one of the most used seasoners here in Spain; there are artificial substitutes and colorants from a long time ago, based in tartaricine, so... there are substitutes.

Besides of this little addition, here goes an information that will be very useful: Right now wild saffron flowers are blooming... well... the advice is DON'T PICK THEM UP!!

The reason is that they're slightly toxic and they could give you a nice gastroenteritis.
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Maestro Tomberi, creador de fantasía y surrealismo
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4471
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maestro Tomberi, is the wild one a different plant?

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Maestro Tomberi, ¿es una planta distinta la salvaje?
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Maestro Tomberi



Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 170
Location: Gijón, Asturias

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's the tricky part. They are identical, with the sole exception that the wild one posseses an alcaloid which makes it toxic.

By the way, the only place in all Asturias where saffron is cultivated is in Bedriñana, Villaviciosa.
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Manuell Alvarez



Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 220

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maestro Tomberi,

Is the Azafran grown and produced in Asturias sold commercially as an export, and how may one purchase Asturian Azafran?

Further, is Pimenton also grown and produced in Asturias?

Tu amigo,

Manny

"Spain begins with Asturies"
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1725
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:56 am    Post subject: azafran pimenton Reply with quote

For both products, try La Tienda.

Here's our affiliate link (click on the image):



As always, there's no cost to you to use this link, and it's a great way to support the forum!
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Maestro Tomberi



Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 170
Location: Gijón, Asturias

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, Manny. The best solution for you, as Bob mentions above, can be found in La Tienda.com .

Besides this, I don't think Asturias produces enough quantity to make the slightest excedent dedicated to exportation. Maybe the one produced in "la villa" can be found in local markets... I don't think more than that.

As for your quest of paprika, you'll find in the vast majority of times the famous Pimentón de la Vera and in the least the one of Murcia; lacking this last one of the remarked smokey flavour which the 1st one has. Asturias doesn't produce at a commercial level paprika; however, some people might dispose of it as particulars.
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Art
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although Asturians use these products today, they may not be traditional Asturian food products. In other words, they may have been imported into Asturias for centuries but not be native foods. Of course, then we have to decide how many centuries of use makes something traditional!

Maestro Tomberi, is it known when paprika and saffron became popular in Asturias?

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A pesar de que los asturianos utilizan estos productos hoy en día, es posible que no son productos tradicionales en la comida asturiana. O sea, pueden haber sido importados a Asturias durante siglos. Por supuesto, en ese caso tendrímos que decidir cuál número de siglos de uso se precisa para ser tradicional!

¿Maestro Tomberi, se sabe cuándo el pimentón y el azafrán se hizo popular en Asturias?
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Maestro Tomberi



Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 170
Location: Gijón, Asturias

PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lo que sé decirte seguro es respecto a la tradicionalidad del uso del pimentón, generalizado desde casi recién llegado; o sea, entrado el siglo XVI. Evidentemente, no desde antes, ya que al ser un producto oriundo del continente americano, no existe su uso en España desde épocas anteriores.

En cuanto al azafrán no lo sé fijo, pero me da la impresión de que fueron los árabes quienes la han introducido en la Península. Esto nos situaría en los siglos IX-X.

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What I do know for sure is about the traditionality of the use of paprika, generalized since almost newly arrived; this means, entered the XVIth century. Evidently, not since before, since it's a product which hails from the American continent, it use in Spain doesn't exist from previous eras.

As for the saffron I don't know certainly, but I think Arabs have been the ones who introduced it into the Peninsula. This would place us into the IXth-Xth centuries.
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Art
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, yes, it makes sense that paprika, a pepper, would be from Latin America!

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¡Ah, sí, tiene sentido que la pimientón, un pimiento, sería de América Latina!
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Indalecio Fernandez



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 167
Location: San Martín de Podes, Gozón, Asturias

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

El, mal llamado, "azafran silvestre", colquito, (Colchicum autumnale) es una especie distinta del "autentico azafrán" (Crocus sativus). Les dejo unos enlaces para saber más.
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crocus_sativus
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colchicum_autumnale

Les dejo, también un enlace de un página muy interesante sobre flora y fauna asturiana: http://www.asturnatura.com/index.php
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