D.O Saffron Of la Mancha
Saffron from the Denomination of Origin Azafrán de la Mancha is a spice obtained from the roasting of the stigmas of the Crocus sativus, L. flower. This variety is very easy to distinguish because the part of the red stigmas clearly protrudes from the flower. Furthermore, the style is shorter than in other saffron flowers.
Only the saffron belonging to the year’s harvest can belong to the protected designation of origin, because the product loses quality over the years. It is only available for the consumer in the shape of stigma, never ground. It is made by means of a process of drying through a slow fire, it does not dry in the sun, which produces that this saffron has a better presence, a more intense aroma and greater colouring power due to its higher content of safranal.
This variety of saffron has a slightly bitter taste, but not astringent and an intense exotic aroma, typical of the intense and penetrating roasting.
After the roasting process, the saffron acquires the final shape with which we know it: bright red stigma, flexible and resistant, and without wrinkles. The saffron of this protected designation of origin has a high colouring power and only those that exceed 200 units of colouring can be part of this denomination.
The production area extends through the provinces of Toledo, Cuenca, Ciudad Real and Albacete.
The saffron harvest takes place between the end of October and the beginning of November. The flower blooms at dawn and withers very quickly which causes the stigmas to lose their colour and aroma. Therefore, it should remain on the stem for the shortest possible period of time. This leads to the flowers being collected at dawn. The roasting process makes the product diminish, thus from each kilo of stigmas collected, 200 grams of saffron reaches the consumer ready to be consumed.
Protected Designation of Origin Azafrán de La Mancha
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