Vibrant saffron is the stigma of the Asian crocus, painstakingly picked and dried. Saffron has a distinctive flavour, rather ozoney, and gives a lively lift to any dish it’s stirred into. Saffron buns and cake are as synonymous with Cornish cuisine as pasties and clotted cream: but how did this alien flower end up in so many Cornish kitchens?
The story goes that the ancient Phoenician traders came to Cornwall and exchanged saffron for tin. In Britain, Cornwall is seen as the end of the country. However, if you’re coming from the Med, Asia or Africa with a cargo of spices, Cornwall is the beginning. When we first encountered this mysterious and colourful spice, we tamed it, and brought it into our kitchens to add to our baking. In Cornwall, saffron isn’t an exotic luxury – it’s a staple of afternoon tea.
This history, combined with trips to the High Atlas where the fields blossom with bright crocuses, inspired us to think about adding saffron to our farm. When tantalising glimpses of purple flowers started peeping up in our earliest rows, we knew that this was something truly exciting.
Growing and processing saffron is a labour-of-love, and so our production will be small (not that our love isn’t). However, our saffron is of exceptional quality, and perfect for gifts. Our crop is supplemented with imported organic Sargol saffron for culinary and medicinal purposes. For those wishing to play with colours and achieve that luscious umber/burnt orange hue, we have selected a crop especially for dyeing.