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The cultivation of saffron bulbs

Saffron bulbs of the best quality , Ecological production in Monreal del Campo “Teruel”, to plant at home, garden or field

If you have decided to purchase bulbs to obtain your own saffron in the following lines, the cultivation method of such a highly appreciated spice is explained

The best bulbs can be found in AZAFRANES JILOCA, a company dedicated to the production of the best saffron since 1993, in Monreal del Campo (Comarca del Jiloca, Teruel)
If you want to grow in the Garden, orchard or field
El The first step is to fertilize the land, the month of March is the most appropriate to carry out this step, although nothing happens if it is paid later, the subscriber will last several years, so it is not such a precise requirement, that if before to plant it. The appropriate amount per square meter is 4 kg of fertilizer, horse, cattle or sheep manure are the best.

The appropriate months to plant the bulb are between July and September, the bulb must be planted at a depth of 18 ctm and with the corner up, thus facilitating the exit of the grill to the surface.

The bulbs have to be placed at about 10 cm from each other to favor their reproduction, the amount necessary to plant 1m2 is about 30 units.

It is important to dedicate exclusively the area cultivated with the bulbs only to this crop since it is not convenient to water it excessively, rather it is a rainfed crop, it must also be kept clean of weeds that can deplete the food that we have contributed in the subscriber for the saffron.

If the crop is outdoors it is advisable to water it only in March and September.

By mid-October the bulbs give the flower, the flowering season lasts approximately 25 days, each bulb can give between 5 and 15 flowers, this depends on the size of the bulb and its reproduction, when the season ends, the espartillo (leaf of the saffron plant) until the month of May that it will dry completely, it may give the impression that the plant has died, but it is not, it is simply dormant until the next flowering, during this time it is convenient to keep the Weed-free growing surface.

The bulb must be in the ground for 4 years, after the fourth flowering the bulb will have been converted into several new units, so it will be convenient to start them in June to clean them (pooffoliate) and replant them from the month next in a newly paid land and if it can be in a different location than the one previously cultivated.

If you want to grow in a pot or indoors

If the crop is to be done in a pot or indoor planter, we should water it every 3 months without watering the soil and try to ensure that the container has good drainage to expel the excess water, if we are not at great risk of the bulb to rot.

It is a plant that only needs sunlight from October to May, so it can be on a terrace without any problem.

It is convenient that the container is deep enough so that the crop can be lengthened over time, practicing a fertilizer of at least 40% natural fertilizer and the rest of the soil.

The rest of the steps are the same as growing outdoors


Jiloca Saffron Ice Cream with Peach in Malvasia wine and lemon

Preparation of the peach: Peel the peaches and with a punch make 10 balls per person and macerate the Malvasia for one hour. Ice cream:

In a saucepan, put the milk, the cream, the glucose, the invert sugar and the stabilizer on fire.

In a bowl, mix the egg yolks and sugar vigorously.

Once the mixture boils, incorporate the saffron and let infuse 10 minutes out of the fire and cover it.

Raise the boil again and blanch the yolks with the liquid. Mix vigorously with the bars.

Ripen the ice cream 24 hours in the refrigerator and freeze.

Lemon cream:

Put all the ingredients except the butter in the thermomix at 85ºC for 10 minutes. Then add the gelatin (previously soaked 10 minutes and drained) and the butter. Rest in the fridge.

Plate assembly:

In a cocktail glass put lemon cream at the bottom, then the peach macerated with the Malvasia, the rolled almond and finally the saffron healdo with some saffron pistils on top.


Sitgetana rice casserole with Jiloca saffron

It is a rice recovered from the old Sitges kitchen. The writer Emerenciá Roig in his book “ El Sitges dels nostres avis ” (The Sitges of our grandparents) explains what the kitchen was like in the mid-17th century, and the most recognized was the famous rice from Sitges that served at the Carcolces inn on Calle Parelladas. It is a rice in which the sea and the mountains shake hands. And in the end he insists on saying that – after eating a good dish one was tempted to eat another.


In a saucepan we will heat the butter and the oil where we will brown the seasoned rib and reserve. Then we will fry the cuttlefish and when it has absorbed the water it gives off we will add the rib and the onion, about 4 minutes we add the peppers and the tomato at the end. Sauté well, add the broths and when they boil add the rice and the peas. In a mortar with a pinch of salt we will crush the saffron, then the garlic and finally the almond, melted with a little broth and the casserole .A halfway through cooking we will taste salt and add the rest of the ingredients. We finish the oven with a total of 18 minutes of cooking.


Jiloca crocuses in the Gourmet Hall. Madrid 2014

Madrid hosted another year at Ifema one of the most important gastronomic events of the year, Salón de Gourmets, gathering more than 30,000 products, a thousand of them recently arrived on the market. An appointment in which we find the greatest gastronomic treasures of our country.

Azafranes Jiloca was present, along with another twenty Aragonese companies in this event. Wine products, oils, pastry, products derived from duck, pickles, truffles and derivatives, cheeses, semi-preserved fish, edible flowers crystallized with sugar or ham, in addition to the Jiloca saffron that gave the red gold brooch to the stand of the Community of Aragon.

This show, considered the most important in delicatessen products in Europe, has given the Aragonese agri-food industry the possibility of achieving greater international projection.


Cuttlefish rice with Gourmet Saffron from Jiloca

Clean the cuttlefish and cut them into small cubes, reserving two of the bodies to later roll them with plastic wrap and freeze them. Make a sauce with the onion and tomato. Add cuttlefish and stew for 20 minutes. Cover with water and when it boils, add the rice. After 10 minutes of cooking add the mince and cook until the rice is soft.

Place and on top of the rice put the sipia that we have frozen and after cutting it with the cold cut machine and pass it through the griddle or frying pan slightly.

With the liver of the cuttlefish we can make a sauce to accompany, stir-frying with onion, white wine and to finish add the liver and cook for a few minutes. Finish by grinding everything with a turmix.


Saffron to raise libido

University of Guelph scholars have found that other substances such as yohimbine, an alkaloid present in an African psychoactive plant called ‘yohimbe’, appear to improve human sexual function, while other culinary ingredients, such as garlic, cloves and ginger, also manage to stimulate the sexual impulse.

For Dr. Marcone and his group, some natural substances such as saffron could be an effective alternative to treat some sexual disorders, although their effectiveness and safety still need to be confirmed in future research.

In addition to these products of plant origin, according to the experts there is also another natural source of sexual stimuli, although in this case inexhaustible, free and available to everyone: the sun, and which may also have an aphrodisiac role, at least among males.


The book “Comprehensive Improvement of the Crocus of Jiloca” aims to promote the product in Teruel

TERUEL, May 22 (EUROPA PRESS) -The book ‘Comprehensive Improvement of the Saffron Cultivation of Jiloca’ includes part of “an ambitious project” for the improvement and promotion of the saffron in Teruel. This initiative has been carried out by a multidisciplinary team of researchers specialized in areas such as plant production, plant health and agri-food economy.

“Saffron was an important crop until 35 years ago, but it has disappeared in practically all of Spain except Castilla-La Mancha. What we intend with this project is to lay the foundations for a possible recovery of the crop, “explained the head of the CITA Plant Production Unit, José María Álvarez, in statements to Europa Press.

In this sense, he commented that the current surface of the Jiloca area (Teruel) currently has about six hectares in which saffron is produced. This small extension sells practically everything it produces by selling it to restaurants, ‘groumet’ stores and fairs, but “at prices that double the market price, therefore they are profitable”.

This is because Jiloca saffron occurs naturally, “especially the drying method”, and this is also reflected in the recognition of the ‘C’ for ‘Quality’ that the product. For this reason, the project deals with topics on the improvement and development of cultivation techniques to optimize production.

Based on this, Álvarez has indicated that the saffron should be promoted and protected through the Denomination of Origin. “There are characteristics in this products at a molecular and chemical level that can differentiate it from other crocuses, with this you can create a D.O.”, he explained.

With regard to marketing saffron more globally, the CITA researcher mainly poses two problems: competitiveness and production. Although Teruel’s saffron is “of higher quality and healthier”, it has to compete with the Iranian, which “is more commercialized and cheaper, especially because workers’ wages are lower,” he added.

On the other hand, the production of saffron is complicated because “it does not multiply through seeds, but by cards, which makes it more difficult to increase its extension.”To solve these problems, the research opts to “mechanize the crop to reduce costs”.

This project is included in the Specific Plan for Teruel, in which the Center for Agrifood Research and Technology of Aragon (CITA), the University of Castilla-La Mancha and the Polytechnic University of Valencia have participated.

Scientists have approached the cultivation of saffron in Jiloca from its different disciplines; genetic improvement, molecular biology, typing, crop protection, marketing and economics.


Saffron is a recognized medicinal plant

By: Dr. Hernán Candia Román Naturopathy – Orthomolecular Nutrition – Phytomedicine

Saffron (Crocus Sativus) with excellent properties to combat whooping cough and asthma attacks.

The cultivation of saffron was introduced by the Arabs in the 9th century, according to historical chronicles, in antiquity, the upper or bourgeois class had a monopoly on this important species and natural medicine.

The domain of this prized species was found in most of the Iberian peninsula.

The saffron trade, (Crocos Sativus) dates back to three thousand years old.

How to use

A tea is prepared with 10 grams of saffron flowers, boiled in two liters of water for two minutes and left to rest for 15 minutes, this can calm asthma attacks, whooping cough and hysteria. < / p>

It is very useful for patients with stones or stones of the kidneys, bladder or liver, to treat these ailments the same proportion of 10 grams is used in each tea.

On piles or hemorrhoids in states of inflammation, it is very good to apply hot poultices of a saffron preparation in the proportion of three grams of flowers boiled for three minutes in a liter of water.

Saffron water is delicious, just as much as rice cooked with 15 grams of saffron.

It is highly recommended to treat fires (herpes) on the lips, used as water, that is, after boiling it in a proportion of 10 grams per liter of water, it is allowed to cool and is taken instead of water during the day.

Saffron has narcotic properties like opium, therefore its use in large quantities is not recommended.

This plant contains a volatile oil and a coloring substance called safrin.


Saffron seeks producers

Saffron cultivation began to recover five years ago and the Jiloca saffron producers association ‘AZAJI’ is working to publicize it. The objective is to get more people to start cultivating this product, which will begin to be planted in a few days.

For a time it stopped producing and only some farmers at a private level dedicated themselves to not losing the cultivation of a product recognized today in the national territory, the saffron from Jiloca . Its great coloring power and aroma differentiate it from other crocuses, marking its quality.

Currently there are planted around six hectares that depend on about fifteen producers which allows them to have bulbs to produce year after year. With what is planted now, it could be obtained around 6 or 7 kilos of saffron , a reduced quantity but which in the short term could reach a production of around 20 kilos. 150 flowers are needed for each gram of roasted saffron. A kilo of saffron for the producer is about 2,700 euros. For sale to the public it reaches 5 euros per gram, 10 if it is organic saffron.

Lack of producers

Three years ago they began to work on obtaining the appellation of origin, however, after having part of the processing carried out, it is necessary to fulfill another requirement to obtain it: «It is necessary to have a sufficient planted area that gives the necessary benefits to maintain the name, however at the moment with the producers that we are, we cannot bear the cost ”, acknowledges the president of Azaji, José Antonio Esteban, who points out that it would be possible in the event of increasing annual production. For this, it is trying to get more people to plant saffron.

From Azaji they try every year to attend fairs to promote saffron and make it known. One of them is the international fair related to Slow food , which is held every two years in Italy; in addition to this they are present at local fairs such as Teruel Gusto Múdejar or at national ones with the ultimate aim of achieving product quality recognition.


Crocuses Jiloca Awarded with the Superior Taste Award 2016

The company AZAFRANES JILOCA has been awarded with the prize for SUPERIOR TASTE AWARD qualification OUTSTANDING.

The Superior Taste Award recognizes the quality of the Saffron that distributes Azafranes Jiloca being the first and only Spanish company in the sector to receive this recognition.

The Award was obtained after a blind tasting of the product, 200 professionals of the catering industry, Chefs with Michelin stars between them, scored the product on a number of aspects and the resulting score is the saffron of AZAFRANES JILOCA has obtained an Outstanding rating.

the jury of The International Taste & Quality Institute is unique because it is selected from anexclusive partnership with the organizations culinary professionals most prestigious in Europe, the Association of Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) and other experts in beverages.

These wine tasters, chosen by the organizations and iTQi, have many years of experience in the tasting of foods from around the world. Not only have they practised their trades in Europe, but also in countries as diverse as Japan, China, Thailand, Australia, North America, Central and South America. They are always excited to discover new flavours or products unknown.

Each taster is elected by :

  • The unanimous acknowledgement of his talentby guides such as Michelin or Gault Millau
  • Su long experience tasting
  • Your ability to describe in detail the features flavor of the products and suggest possible improvements in the report of sensory analysis

This information provided by iTQi is very requested by the participating companies to analyze in detail the results of the test. Graphs and reports of sensory analysis are valuable tools for the Quality Control officer in search of independent advice and documented about the taste of their products.

To maximize the objectivity of the evaluations, iTQi organizes tastings with:

  • The elimination of the interactions among the members of the jury
  • The presentation of the products blind and anonymously
  • Panels very large of judges of different nationalities.

To ensure transparency, iTQi allows to the participating companies, that make the specific request, attend the tastings.

you could say that the Superior Taste Award is the Michelin guide of Food.

José María Plumed (Director General)

“we Knew that we have a great product, our saffron has been enjoying good recognition, but to get a score so high has been a pleasant surprise, but considering the high level of professionals who have completed the tasting, have the opportunity to receive congratulations from Cheffs, with great talent, fills us with pride”

José Ramón Plumed (Manager)

“It’s great to receive this award, being the only Spanish company with this award for the quality of saffron gives us renewed strength to continue working and improving day-to-day in our work, we are growing a lot as a company and feel like a pat on the back why we are doing the right things”