In the 13th century, saffron – originally from Asia Minor and/or the Middle East – was brought to Navelli, in the province of L’Aquila. Here, it found a perfect micro-climate. Today, Navelli is still home to the most flavorful saffron.
Saffron from L’Aquila is the only European DOP-certified saffron.
It’s harvested and entirely hand processed by the Altopiano Cooperative of Navelli. When the flowers bloom, they are picked before dawn. Then, the threads (which are actually the stigmas of the flower) are separated and dried over a low-burning wood flame.
This saffron is real.
You need 250,000 flowers to produce just one kilo of saffron threads. That makes this spice both the most expensive and one of the most defrauded in the world.
It adds a potent kick and vibrant gold color to anything from risotto alla milanese, paella, roasted meat and fish, bouillabaisse, or even desserts.