venerdì 21 maggio 2010

Saffron, San Gimignano exceptional taste

Together with art, culture, towers, wine, San Gimignano is proud of another antic traditional product: Saffron.

Since ancient times, Saffron has always been considered a symbol of material and spiritual wealth, probably because of its warm color that recalls gold. The clothes of the Egyptian priests, the curtains wrapping mummies, the veils of brides in ancient Rome, the robes of the Assyrians and Babylonians king, wedding dresses of medieval women to that of the Dalai Lama were all dyed using saffron.

In San Gimignano the tradition of its use dates back to medieval times, when the cultivation of this precious flower, crocus, extended throughout the territory surrounding the town. During the flowering, lilac/purple fields struck the traveler eyes along the Via Francigena pilgrimage. Introduced by the first crusaders, saffron found in San Gimignano, ideal conditions for a huge development.

A few years ago some willing producers, among them "Fortezza de 'Cortesi, encouraged by the Region of Tuscany, ARSIA Agricolture Authority and the Municipality, re-started the recovery path of production of this precious spice. After a testing phase, carried out for the first time under international yardsticks, have come to obtaining the Denomination of Origin (PDO). Laboratory tests conducted on the product gave surprising results and gave to The Saffron Dop of San Gimignano the most prestigious category in the world. Cultivated, harvested and processed entirely by hand according to biological criteria, is packed while keeping intact the stigmas to protection from counterfeiting.

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