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Article: The Wonder & Tradition of Iranian Saffron

The Wonder & Tradition of Iranian Saffron

The Wonder & Tradition of Iranian Saffron

Early mornings on the dreamy, still saffron fields in Kakhk, Iran. Young and old workers begin picking the crocus flowers out of the soil before the sun rises. There’s a commitment to relentless hard work over the three week harvesting window. In the afternoon, people gather to pick the precious red stigmas, share stories and drink saffron tea.

Friend and Burrell is proud to support growers, who are the heroes behind the world’s most luxurious spice. We have an eight year partnership with the Zade family in Iran who have owned saffron fields for generations. The attention to detail and generational experience of the farmers is special. Mothers teach sons and daughters picking techniques as their mother had taught them. Zar Taj saffron means more than just the ingredient.

The loamy soil and dry climate makes the perfect home for the bright purple crocus to grow. After the flowers are picked in the early morning, they are laid out to dry in a nearby village. The red stigmas are separated from the flowers on the same day, ensuring maximum aroma, flavour and colour in the product.

Melbourne fine dining icon Guy Grossi has used Zar Taj saffron for many years, relying on its consistency in quality. 

“It has a lovely aroma and depth of flavour. Not only flavour but also from a visual point of view the colour is very bright and enhances different dishes.”

Iran’s underground water sources are disappearing from relentless drought. Saffron requires far less water than other crops like cotton or rice. We support the continued production of the finest saffron, so the remaining water underground is available for generations to come.

Friend and Burrell want to educate people about the wonder and tradition of Iranian saffron. A precious ingredient which has been associated with royalty throughout history, but also resonates with every Iranian. We want to share this wonderful story with the world. 

- Billy Friend

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