Spanish Saffron of La Mancha, the Red Gold of Cuisine
The saffron was introduced in Spain during Arab domination and has been used throughout history because of its medicinal properties and its coloring power and pleasant aroma.
The Spanish saffron of La Mancha is considered the best in the world. There are large differences between saffron from La Mancha and the rest of the world. The saffron of this region in Spain is the best due to the traditional process of weeding and roasting in a natural way, which causes that the stigma of the saffron does not mix with other parts of the flower since its separation from the rest is done manually, flower by flower. All this makes Spanish saffron of La Mancha has a coloring and aromatic power at least 40-50% above any other saffron of the world.
The special features of this Spanish saffron, are the result, not only of the artisanal processing but also the natural environment and the cultivation conditions. It presents a very lively red color and according to experts, the aroma of saffron evokes a mixture of honey, with touches of herbs and somewhat metallic tones.
In the Mediterranean culture, saffron is present in all kinds of dishes and there are many recipes that reflect it. Saffron offers a wide variety of gastronomic experiences, ranging from the most traditional to the most innovative. It is used in cooking both for its aroma and for the golden yellow color that gives the dishes (due to the carotene). Today, saffron is part of the Spanish gastronomic culture and it is used .especially in "paella", fish soups, "fabada", sweets...
Saffron, among other things, fights nerve disorders and asthma. It strengthens the heart, eliminates obstructions of the liver, calms cough and bronchitis and it is a potential source of anticancer agents. Besides, it is an alternative to salt, providing an unmistakable and characteristic flavor (bitter-sweet).
To use the saffron it is recommended to crush the strands and to soak them for a few minutes before incorporating it into the cooking, this process extracts the color and the flavor of the filaments, transferring them to the liquid and this way distribute them better for all the food.