Commercial saffron comes from the bright red stigmas of the saffron crocus "Crocus Sativus" which flowers in the Fall in many different countries, including Greece, India, Iran and Spain. In a good year, each saffron crocus plant might produce several flowers. Soil and weather conditions naturally vary in the saffron cultivating countries and so do the methods of drying the fresh saffron stigmas. Their dye is the color of egg yolks which gives the appealing yellow to such dishes as Risotto Milanese, Paella Valenciana, St. Lucia Buns and Bouillabaisse.
SPANISH MANCHA or SELECT saffron originates from the Mancha region of Spain. An area made famous by the windmill chasing Don Quixote. A region with a low rainfall, makes it suitable for growing saffron. Spanish saffron is one of the world's most well known saffron and has become a trusted member of many kitchens.
Spain's most famous dish -Paella - a hardy rice dish with an assortment of meat, sausage and seafood, uses saffron to add both color and flavor.
Although most of Spain's saffron is harvested and cultivated using traditional methods, some saffron from Spain is now grown using hydroponics, which could mean a more predictable harvest, year on year.