Saffron, the Gold of the Greek Earth
The Organic Red Saffron, produced by the renowned Kozani Saffron Cooperative, in Northern Greece, is a certified organic product that is distinguished for its excellent quality which places it in the Coupe Class, the top quality of Saffron in the world. Saffron, made from the dried stigmas of the crocus flower, is the worlds most expensive spice.
Saffron cultivation is believed to date back to Prehistoric Greek times.
The excavations in Knossos, Crete, brought to light some frescoes where saffron is depicted. The most famous of these frescoes is the “saffron gatherer”, where it was depicted that there was a monkey amongst the yellow saffron flowers.
Etymologically, the word crocus has its origin from the Greek word “croci” which means the weft, thread used for weaving on a loom.
Mythologically, according to Ovid, the plant took its name from the youth Crocus, who after witnessing in despair the death of fair Smilax was transformed into this flower.
Known since antiquity, saffron it was one of the most desired and expensive spices of ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans for its aroma, color and aphrodisiac properties.
It was quite popular among the Phoenician traders, who carried it wherever they traveled. The ancient Assyrians used saffron for medical purposes.
Hippocrates and other Greek doctors of his time, like Dioskourides and Galinos mention crocus as a drug or a therapeutical herb.
From the writings of Homer, who calls dawn “crocus veil”, Aeschylus, Pindar, and others, it is known that the crocus was considered a rare pharmaceutical plant of ancient Greece with unique properties. It is referred to throughout ancient history and in the course of many medical writings of the classical Greek and Roman times all the way to the Middle Ages.
Another saffron use in ancient Greece was that of perfumery.
The history of red saffron in modern Greece starts in the 17th century when traders from Kozani, Macedonia, brought the red saffron from Austria.
For 300 years, Greek red saffron is systematically cultivated under the warmth of the Greek sun, in the rich soil of a unique area in Kozani, in western Macedonia.
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