Zafferano Albori is grown exclusively in accordance with organic farming methods.
We use only organic fertilisers and weeding is done only by hand and by mechanical means.
No chemical herbicides or fertilisers. We rotate our crops, with two crop cycles of different species per year,
to allow the soil to recover naturally and absorb nutrients, such as nitrogen.
We include soil-enriching green manure crops in this rotation cycle.
ISO 3632 1,2 2010/2011 STANDARD - CATEGORY I SAFFRON
To fight saffron fraud - saffron threads may be mixed with poor-quality ones and artificially
flavoured and coloured - the ISO/TS 3632 standard was created to control the product's purity and the quality
of its sensory characteristics (colour, flavour, aroma).
In accordance with this standard, Zafferano delle Venezie Albori,
both in threads and powdered, is CATEGORY I.
We decided to take the harder road, but our goal is excellence.
This is why we use the Annual Growing Method to guarantee that our saffron is of the highest quality.
Other, multiple-year methods leave the bulbs in the same soil for three to five years to reduce
the number of manual operations. However, in this way the bulbs are more likely to be affected by parasites
and mould, the soil is impoverished and the quality of the final product may be compromised.
The Annual Growing Method is more labour-intensive, but also more rewarding.
At the end of the growth cycle, in late June, the Crocus sativus bulbs are removed from the soil,
checked, selected and stored in a temperature- and humidity-controlled place until mid-August, when they
are replanted in a different position; this crop rotation sequence allows the soil to regenerate itself naturally.
The replanted bulbs will flower in late autumn.
Manual work is still essential for growing saffron, no mechanical or automated methods can be used for
the harvest, to avoid spoiling the product. Autumn has come to the plain of Friuli close to Pordenone,
hemmed in between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea. The days are still warm but the nights are already chilly,
creating the ideal temperature difference for Crocus sativus bulbs, which are just starting to flower.
From mid-October to mid-November the flowers are harvested by hand each morning at dawn
before they open in the sun and are placed in wicker baskets.
They are dissected the same day – again, by hand – to separate the precious stigmas from the stamen
and petals of the crocus. Only the stigmas are carefully dried to make
our pure Zafferano delle Venezie Albori.
Stigma drying is the most delicate phase of the entire production cycle because it will affect the saffron's
sensory profile. To maintain its high quality, Zafferano delle Venezie uses temperature- and time-controlled ovens
for the drying process.
This operation must eliminate 80% of the humidity in the stigmas and it must be done on the same day
the flowers are harvested to avoid losing any of the saffron's quality. There are many drying techniques
for turning the stigmas into a spice; they vary according to the country of origin and its traditions
and sometime involve empirical methods.
However, recent studies have confirmed that a controlled drying process ensures a finished product
of higher quality as it preserves and enhances the saffron's sensory qualities.
Zafferano Albori is "matured"
After being dried, Zafferano Albori is stored in airtight containers in a dark, dry place for one month before using.
This is the "maturing" period of pirocrocin, a glucoside which has a bitter taste
and balances the spice's flavour and aroma.
After the delicate drying phase and maturing in containers, Zafferano Albori saffron threads are ready
to offer their extraordinary quality for the many delicious dishes in which it is a star ingredient.
It should first be steeped in warm water for over one and a half hours
to bring out its full aroma, flavour and colour.
Those who are short of the time required for these ancient flavour ceremonies will find the same certified quality
in Zafferano Albori's pure powder, which is composed of only dried and matured threads that are
skilfully "roasted" then ground using a gentle technique and appropriate equipment.
A totally pure powder, ready to use in a few minutes, that offers the full ISO/TS 3632-certified excellence
of Zafferano delle Venezie Albori.