Reading the New York Times photojournalist Susan Wright’s report on her saffron adventure in Navelli, as she “fanned out among the misty, violet-tinged fields and participated in the harvest,” brought us back to the times when we visited the Cooperativa Altopiano di Navelli ourselves.
The saffron harvest in Navelli is a centuries-old tradition, kept alive by the local community nestled in “this isolated corner of Italy, east of the Apennine Mountains.” The whole process is incredibly charming, as Wright’s photo story beautifully describes.
“The delicate buds are handpicked and placed into baskets. Later, on the same day, the stigmas – three tiny threads per flower – are separated from the moist petals. It’s a delicate process that takes hours with a skilled and patient hand.”
This is a unique spice that definitely deserves its nickname: the red gold of Navelli. As Wright points out, “it takes roughly 4000 flowers to make one ounce of saffron powder – which means there’s a staggering amount of labor packed into the tiny containers in which the spice is sold.”
Read the entire article about the Saffron harvest in Navelli in the New York Times.