Countryfile Magazine - - Saffron -

In late July, plant the Cro­cus sativus bulbs (corms) 4in (10cm) deep and 4in apart in welldrained soil in a sunny spot. Lift and di­vide up the bulbs ev­ery three years or so. This will en­able them to mul­ti­ply.

As soon as the crocuses flower in early Oc­to­ber, pick each flower by hand.

Wear­ing la­tex gloves, use a pair of tweez­ers to pluck the stig­mas care­fully out of each flower. Ide­ally, this needs to be done on the same day the flow­ers are picked, as saf­fron can de­te­ri­o­rate very quickly.

Af­ter har­vest­ing, fold the strands in a piece of kitchen roll and dry in a warm room for sev­eral hours un­til the saf­fron is brit­tle.

Store the saf­fron in an air­tight con­tainer in a dry, dark place. It should keep its flavour for at least a year.

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