The Saffron of San Gimignano is an Italian Protected Designation of Origin product, extracted from the Crocus sativus plant, whose production is allowed only in the territory of the municipality of San Gimignano.
The Crocus Sativus is planted at the end of August, and the plant blooms in a relatively short time, as already around the end of September the flowers can be harvested. The collection, as well as the other parts of the manufacturing process of the product, must be carried out strictly by hand, as a mechanical process would risk irrevocably ruining the pistils. After the flowers are picked, they are separated from the pistils, which are then dried; there are different ways in which this process can take place: from the most classical and natural sun exposure to positioning in the oven, passing through the use of flames or braziers. Once ready, the pistils are minced manually and stored waiting for the trade, which usually takes place in small portions.
The high cost of this precious spice is due precisely to the complexity of the collection method.
The taste is pungent and slightly bitter. It goes well with fish, vegetables, white meats.