Saffron from the Quercy region

Le safran - Fiche produit - Slow Food Souillac

Product description

Saffron from the Quercy region is a spice stemming from the deep red stigmas of a purple flower. To get this valuable spice, you untie the stigmas at harvest time and then dry them.

Terroir and origin

Saffron was introduced in France by the Crusaders and the Arab invasions around the 11th century. Its culture developed in the Quercy because of the quality of its terroir and also because it didn’t grow at the same time as other crops so it enables people to get a new source of income. In the 18th century, its production almost disappeared because its culture was very unpredictable due to climate conditions and its harvest required lots of workforce. Since 1997, in the region of Cajarc, thanks to the will of men and women committed to their terroir, high quality saffron is now produced and it will soon get a red label.

Key figures

  • You have to harvest by hand.

With 200 000 flowers you get 1 kg of dry saffron.

  • 1 gram costs between 30 and 40 Euros or €30000 for one kilogram.
  • Production:

between 4 and 5 kg per year
(2 000 000 flowers harvested by hand)

  • average time:

1000 flowers harvested per hour
500 peeled flowers per hour

Manufacturing steps

The best soils are clay-limestone or clay-sandy soil on parcels oriented South and South/East. The culture remains in place from 2 to 3 years and can be renewed on the same plot after 8 or 10 years.
• Planting of bulbs in July.
• Implementing the culture from July to October.
• Harvesting the flowers during flowering which lasts 3 weeks from October to the end of November
• Removing the stigmas of the flower.
• Drying.

Bulbe de safran - Slow Food Souillac
Le safran - Slow Food Souillac