The Safran d'Anduze, red gold in the Cévennes
FR - Established 10 years ago in Anduze, the family business has since become quite a reference in the Gard.
the saffron plantations of Anduze©Safran d'Anduze
From the freshly harvested spice to its use in cooking, the Safran d'Anduze family team has done everything to promote its unique product in terms of taste and quality, starting with Stigmate, its surprising saffron beer, which can be found at the Uzès market on Wednesdays.
Saffron ? ... The plant belongs to the Iridaceae family, which also includes iris and gladioli.
It is the most expensive spice in the world, its price following that of gold.
Its high cost is not linked to its rarity but to the cost of labor.
It takes 350,000 crocus flowers to obtain only 1 kg of dry saffron (Epices & bon).
Hello, delighted to welcome you in the Local products section of the blog.
When did you start growing saffron and how did you get the idea of producing such a spice?
We planted our crocuses 10 years ago and have been marketing our products since 2017. Our small business was created as part of a conversion.
The 3.5 hectares of land we owned were just waiting to be developed, knowing that the chosen agricultural project, whatever it was, had to be water efficient. The saffron was thus invited quite naturally.
When and how is it harvested ?
The harvest is done in a limited time, from October 15th to November 15th. The flower is picked and then pruned and dried at about 40º. In general, there is a peak of flowers of about ten days. It takes a lot of people to manage the harvest, but we only work with our family.
How did this spice with Cretan origins adapt to the Cevennes?
Saffron has not only become acclimatized in the Cevennes. It has many small productions in France, especially in the Quercy, a region that has revived the culture of this spice.
There could of course be more, but the cost of labor forces to limit the productions.
What are its needs in relation to the climate of Gard? Is it a challenge or is saffron perfectly at home in the heart of the Cevennes?
Saffron is perfectly at home in the Cevennes. We are at an altitude of 360 m and, as it does not need water or very little, it takes full advantage of the sun. It only needs a little water between August 15th and September 15th.
Saffron originated in Crete, then spread to the Middle East.
It was first cultivated in the Greek provinces by the Minoan civilization over 35 centuries ago (wikipedia).
How did you create your first saffron-based product, this rather daring saffron beer? What were the steps of its conception? What about the honey...?
The idea was born from our conversations with restaurant owners. We realized that they were looking for an innovative product to offer their customers, a beer for example, to serve with their dishes. So we started a series of trials, tests, with a blonde, an amber to be more precise.
We then had to find the right dosage of saffron to create a table beer, without added gas, so that it would remain soft, despite the fact that it is an amber.
In addition to the opinions and suggestions of our acquaintances and test customers, those of our future partners in the restaurant business were very constructive. We also collaborated with a brewer who wanted to start a new adventure. Our saffron beer was in good hands.
As for the honey, we wanted to combine the taste but also the virtues of saffron to this local product with qualities that we no longer present.
The Anduze saffron range
Today, what is the range of your products ? Well, we offer saffron filaments, a classic, but also saffron syrup for cooking, pastry and desserts in general. I add that our saffron syrup is perfect for kirs and cocktails, or just to sweeten tea or herbal tea.
So there is acacia honey, beer but also a white wine with saffron, a dry grenache/roussanne that goes wonderfully well with fish or seafood and a sweet wine, muscat/viognier, that is elegantly invited for the aperitif to highlight foie gras or desserts.
What is the advantage of saffron in your preparations compared to another product ?
Saffron is a flavor enhancer. It brings out the flavors, like the hops in beer, the grape varieties in wine, without modifying the product to which it is associated.
Finally, where can we find your products in the Gard, in Uzès ?
You can come and meet us at the Uzès market on Wednesday mornings, in Anduze on Thursdays, in Sauve (at the Salavès chalet) and in restaurants, not forgetting direct sales at the saffron farm, on appointment.
Many thanks to Jean-Claude Tartois, for his collaboration to this article and the visuals transmitted.
The right address : 200 chemin du Ruisseau, Anduze. Tel: 06 84 86 81 83, email@example.com.