Few products command the price tag of saffron; the threadlike red stigma are quite literally the stuff of legend. And Kozani red saffron is among the most exported Greek products worldwide.
KOZANI RED SAFFRON
affron, the “gold of the Greek land” as it is sometimes called, is one of the most beloved and precious spices of ancient cultures because of its aroma, color, pharmaceutical and aphrodisiac properties. Some argue that saffron is native to the East where it was first cultivated. From there it was brought to Europe by the Crusaders in the 13th century A.D. Others have claimed that it originates in Greece and that it was first cultivated during the Middle Minoan era. This view is reinforced by a painting of that era (1600 B.C.) named “Krokosyllektis” (saffron picker) that was found in the palaces of Knossos, showing a young girl or boy, to some a monkey,
20 CROCUS SPECIES ARE INDIGENOUS TO GREECE
26 COUNTRIES IMPORT GREEK PDO KOZANI RED SAFFRON
picking saffron flowers and putting them in a hamper. It is also claimed that the Greeks engaged in the cultivation of saffron during the Macedonian and Byzantine times, and that the spice has spread to the East through the expeditions of Alexander the Great.
Royalty among spices The only saffron-producing area in Greece is the region of Kozani, in northern Greece, and specifically certain villages (Krokos, Karyditsa, Agia Paraskevi, Ano Komi, Kato Komi, Pefkopigi, Petrana, etc.), where there has been systematic cultivation of the spice for many years. After many fluctuations in cultivation land areas and the threat of its complete disappearance
CROCUS FLOWERS ARE NEEDED TO MAKE 1 KG OF SAFFRON
THE ANNUAL PRODUCTION OF SAFFRON IN GREECE