We plant from August to the FIRST WEEK OF September. In a well-drained soil, bury the bulbs, flat side, 20-30 cm deep, with a distance of 10-15 cm. About 50 bulbs per square meter. Crocus sativus lives well with a pH between 6 and 8. It does not need watering in summer. A little in September and spring if the weather is very dry.
In Quebec the snow will act as insulation to allow the leaves to continue growing. If you scrape under the snow you can see the green foliage continuing to grow, it will show up in early spring.
In well-drained soil, plant at about 15 cm with 10 cm spacing on each side. You can leave your pots outside and around September 20 put them inside near a window. NEVER soak the soil. Water only as needed.
4 to 6 weeks after planting the flowers appear as if by magic. Pick as soon as the dew has evaporated and before the flower spreads, it is even better.
Harvest the flower and remove the pistil afterwards with your nails or small scissors. Cut off the red part only and keep your pistil complete with its three stigmas as much as possible.
This last step is the most important and delicate. We suggest to dry quickly your pistils in an oven or a dehydrator at a temperature of 40 to 60C during 20 to 30 minutes. The saffron must lose 80% of its humidity. For a small quantity, dry in an airy place away from the light. Open the oven on the lowest setting and put your pistils on a sheet of aluminum foil and let them dry until their color changes. They become stiff, almost brittle and blood red.
Saffron should be kept away from light and humidity in a glass container to preserve its properties. Saffron must be matured at least one month before consuming it. In good conditions it can be kept for 3 years.
Saffron needs time to release its aromas. Saffron is not cooked, it is macerated for a time in a warm liquid, ideally the day before. Water, broth, milk, cream, alcohol are some examples to introduce saffron in a recipe. We incorporate the filaments and its maceration at the end of the recipe. It is recommended to macerate 24 hours in advance, but if your time is shorter, grind the pistils before infusing and you will be able to discover the aromas and flavor in less time.
For centuries the virtues of saffron have been recognized and observed in different cultures around the world. It is used for its medicinal, tinctorial and gastronomic properties.
Numerous studies continue to confirm the medicinal benefits of saffron. It is believed to be an antidepressant, antioxidant, and aid in mild insomnia. It has been used since ancient times in Iran for menstrual pain. Do your research on the web to find out more. We cannot confirm the health benefits of saffron in any way.