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- The Saffron
Azafranes Jiloca is a company dedicated to the production and marketing of Saffron from Teruel in the Jiloca region, it was created by José María Plumed in 1995 and since then it has been developing and evolving in its activity, in the Plumed family, generation after generation the cultivation of the Saffron of Teruel has been worked in the best possible location, this is none other than Monreal del Campo , a town that is located at 900 meters of altitude and with exceptional climatic conditions for cultivation of the Saffron.
From its beginnings, Saffrons Jiloca has opted for quality and constant work to obtain the best saffron possible in its fields, through a totally artisanal work and maintaining traditional values, it has been possible to recover the spice more appreciated with the same quality parameters that it had years ago.
The saffron that we obtain from our fields is a source of pride since it is the most complete and potent in its organoleptic qualities “Crocina, Picocrocina and Safranal”, these three qualities are enhanced thanks to the artisanal treatment that occurs throughout the process of obtaining our precious spice.
After years of work Azafranes Jiloca has evolved and thanks to the collaboration of true master craftsmen of the province, it has been able to launch other types of products such as Chocolates, Cheeses and Liqueurs to the market under the Mont Regal brand and made with Teruel Saffron collected in our fields in the Jiloca region.
At Azafranes Jiloca has always opted for respect for nature and for work without negative impacts on the ecosystem that surrounds us, for these reasons and for the client to have complete security that our saffron is totally natural, we have the Organic Production seal and we have a wide range of formats to present Organic Saffron.
In addition to the Ecological Production seal we also have the Food Craft seal which gives saffron an artisanal character.
In 1995, José María Plumed, created the company Azafranes Jiloca motivated by the conviction that the cultivation of saffron should not be lost in the Jiloca region, the cultivation was going through a very strong crisis due to industrialization as there had been ceased to be profitable for producers due to the massive entry of imported saffron that was produced with very cheap labor, this saffron was not as high quality as that produced in the Jiloca region, but entrepreneurs in the sector preferred the quantity to quality.
José María Plumed committed to recovering the crop in the region, taking risks in its investment, but his vision allowed the crop to be saved and with its recovery it also saved a product that provides great added value to the region in terms of identity and tourist value.
In Monreal del Campo you can visit the Saffron Museum, this is an ethnological museum founded in 1983 by D. Julio Alvar on the cultivation and work related to saffron, where you can find each and every one of the tools used to grow the spice in a traditional way.
The Saffron from Teruel or better said “Saffron from Jiloca” since its cultivation was centered in this region has meant, for most families, a complementary resource to get ahead, it was a complement to their income that allowed them to buy agricultural machinery, building houses, marrying the children, in short it was an element that meant prosperity for the families of the Jiloca.
After the period of crisis in the cultivation of saffron in Monreal del Campo alone, it went from having more than 800 production fields to having 3 fields which did not reach one hectare of cultivation among the three, this situation was very delicate since any negative incidence in the cultivated land could have ended up extinguishing the native species of Jiloca.
From Azafranes Jiloca a cultivation recovery strategy was established which must be slow since there was practically no bulb to cultivate, little by little the fields of José María were increased and thanks to the promotional work to publicize the saffron of Jiloca in the year 2004 the spice was named “BALUARTE DE SLOW FOOD”, this appointment marked a before and after in the saffron of Jiloca, after this recognition of the good work and quality of the saffron, in 2005, it was created the Association of Saffron Producers of Jiloca “Azaji”, several people gathered in it in order to increase cultivation and producers, promote the product and get the Designation of Origin Saffron of Jiloca. One of Azaji’s partners is El Exmo. City Council of Monreal del Campo, which with its own field has allowed to advance in R&D projects and has also served to teach new generations the deepest values of our town, lending the field to the service of information and culture.
From 2005 we have not stopped working with complete optimism knowing that our product had a high quality and now it was recognized, nowadays we work with the same traditional values of yesteryear but we adapt new technologies so that each day more people can enjoy the products of Teruel, among them our Saffron from Jiloca.
Denomination of Origin Jiloca
Denomination of Origin ( DO ) is a type of geographical indication applied to an agricultural or food product whose quality or characteristics are fundamentally and exclusively due to the geographical environment in the one that is produced, transformed and elaborated.
In other words, it is a qualification that is used to legally protect certain foods that are produced in a certain area, against producers from other areas who would like to take advantage of the good name that the originals have created, in a long time of manufacture or cultivation.
Producers who use the designation of origin, undertake to maintain quality within established parameters and also to maintain certain traditional uses in production. Likewise, there is usually a public regulatory body for the designation of origin, which authorizes the producers of the area to comply with the rules to display the badge.
The fundamental advantage of the appellation of origin is that it guarantees the consumer a constant level of quality and specific characteristics.