Gâtinais Saffron
Gâtinais Saffron

Flavors of the Gâtinais

All about saffron > Gâtinais Saffron 

Saffron, the prized stigmas of the Crocus sativus, has been known and cultivated as a spice since ancient times. It was undoubtedly brought to the Gâtinais region, southeast of Paris, by crusaders who had discovered its potent flavor in Asia Minor. During that period it was being actively produced in Persia, Kashmir and Macedonia. At the same time, the Arabs had introduced saffron into Spain where it was grown in the provinces of Valencia and Alicante. As trade links developed with northern Europe, the first saffron bulbs were transported to the Boynes area by the local seigneur, a man named Porchaire. He was so successful that in 1698 the Gâtinais was granted the official right to grow saffron by royal edict of King Louis XIV.

Gâtinais saffron soon gained international renown and for the following two centuries, the world price of this spice was, for all intents and purposes, the price set at the Pithiviers market. The archives show that in 1789 Gâtinais produced 30,000 kg of saffron. In 1869 it was producing 10,000 kg more…

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