San Gimignano saffron
Delicate hand-harvested saffron can be add flavour to a variety of dishes
The history of the cultivation of saffron takes us back hundreds of years, in fact, many documents have been found that testify to its intensive cultivation at San Gimignano during the Middle Ages. Saffron is highly valuable and so was worth a great deal of money to the merchants of those times and to the city's economy. In 1228 the Town Council of San Gimignano paid its debts, incurred during the siege of the "Castello della Nera", partly in money and partly in saffron. In 1276 the Council introduced taxation on imports and exports. The export duty produced such a great deal of money that in 1295 the Council decided that it was worth assigning two officials adept in the weighing of saffron to be permanently present at the gates of the City where the export duty was levied.
The extremely pure saffron of San Gimignano is produced naturally without the use of any chemical products in all phases of its cultivation, drying and conservation. The saffron of San Gimignano is extremely pure. It is produced naturally and no chemical products are used in any step of its cultivation, drying and conservation. The saffron stamens are packaged whole in order to guarantee their pure quality as well as to protect their strong pungent and slightly bitter aroma.
Now, at San Gimignano, the countryside once again cultivates saffron, alongside its other high quality produce, thanks to the programme of reintroduction organised by the association "Il Croco". The reintroduction of this famous flower has also been made possible thanks to the help of the University of Florence and the contribution of the Province of Tuscany through ARSIA. Only packages bearing the logo illustrated here contain the extremely pure saffron of San Gimignano. Repeated chemical and organic testing has demonstrated that the saffron of San Gimignano is of the very highest quality, so much so that application has been made for I.G.P. identification (the CEE symbol indicating protected origin).