Description

The saffron under the PDO La Mancha Saffron is a spice obtained by drying the stigmas of the Crocus Sativus, L. whose uniqueness is due to its bond with environmental, human, cultural and historic factors of La Mancha.

The Saffron under this Protected Designation of Origin is the only spice that has got this national quality guarantee. The specific requirements for its production and commercialization, as well as the physicochemical and sensory qualities it must fulfill are registered in a document, the Product specification (es), which has been approved by the European Commission. All producers and canners in the marketplace must meet the product specification. An independent and impartial control Agency verifies every year that the agents do fulfill the Product specification. This control Agency has been authorised by the competent authority and validated by ENAC (Spanish National Accreditation Body) by the regulation UNE-EN ISO/IEC 17065 or the one that replaces it.

Some of the requirements that the saffron under the PDO La Mancha Saffron must fulfill are:

  1. Having a Spanish origin, particularly from certain municipalities from the provinces of Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca and Toledo
  2. Its aspect must be in the shape of stigmas.
  3. It must be always packaged in containers of less than 100 gr.
  4. it must be packaged in less than one year after its production.
<pPurity, physicochemical and sensory features of La Mancha Saffron are shown in this chart (es).

The Conformity Certificate of the Control Board of the PDO La Mancha Saffron constitutes a triple guarantee: highest food security, the highest threshold for colour, scent and flavour, and Spanish origin.


DOP-azafran-de-la-mancha

 

 

 

 

In the Heart of La Mancha

Saffron is a plant characterised by its ability to adapt to the natural conditions of farming. Since Saffron was introduced in La Mancha during the Caliphate of Cordoba, and highly influenced by the human factor, saffron from this area got a distinctive and easily recognised identity. From the beginning of the 19th century it holds the highest kitemark. This recognition remained over time, and constituted the grounds and basis for the constitution of the Protected Designation of Origin La Mancha Saffron. See map

There are documental records of inventories of this farming since 1720. Pedro Muñoz, Campo de Criptana, Manzanares, Lillo, Madridejos, Villacañas, Villanueva de Alcardete, Cabezamesada and Motilla del Palancar are municipalities with an ancient tradition of cultivating saffron.

The Product specification determines that the production area of the Protected Designation of Origin La Mancha Saffron is the geographical heart of Castilla La Mancha. There are 500 affiliated who produce, prune and dry the saffron and 7 companies devoted to packaging and commercialization inscribed in the Registry of the Board of Trustees Foundation of the Protected Designation of Origin La Mancha Saffron. In 2013, the agricultural surface included in the PDO was about 100 hectares and the estimated production was about 500 kilograms.

Besides the geographical condition, and the farming, La Mancha Saffron is an inseparable part of the history and culture of this land. As a proof thereof there are many words related to the production of the spice in the popular lexicon, references in proverbs, sayings and lyrics, public festivals around this farming and anthropological traditions connected to the wish of success.

 


 

 

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Zona de producción de la DOP Azafrán de La Mancha

Albacete

Almansa

Municipios de la Comarca de Almansa

  • ALCADOZO
  • ALMANSA
  • ALPERA
  • BONETE
  • CAUDETE
  • FUENTE-ALAMO
  • MONTEALEGRE DEL CASTILLO

Centro

Municipios de la Comarca de Albacete

  • ALBACETE
  • BAZALOTE
  • BARRAX
  • CASAS DE JUAN NUÑEZ
  • CORRAL RUBIO
  • CHINCHILLA DEL MONTE-ARAGON
  • GINETA (LA)
  • HERRERA (LA)
  • HIGUERUELA
  • HOYA GONZALO
  • MONTALVOS
  • PEÑAS DE SAN PEDRO
  • PÉTROLA
  • POZOHONDO
  • POZUELO

Hellín

Municipios de la Comarca de Hellín

  • ALBATANA
  • HELLIN
  • LIETOR
  • ONTUR
  • TOBARRA

La Mancha

Municipios de la Comarca de La Mancha

  • BONILLO (EL)
  • FUENSANTA
  • LEZUZA
  • MINAYA
  • MUNERA
  • OSSA DE MONTIEL
  • RODA (LA)
  • TARAZONA DE LA MANCHA
  • VILLALGORDO DEL JÚCAR
  • VILLARROBLEDO

La Manchuela

Municipios de la Comarca de La Manchuela

  • ABENJIBRE
  • ALATOZ
  • ALBOREA
  • ALCALA DEL JUCAR
  • BALSA DE VES
  • CARCELEN
  • CASAS DE VES
  • CASAS IBAÑEZ
  • CENIZATE
  • FUENTEALBILLA
  • GOLOSALBO
  • JORQUERA
  • MADRIGUERAS
  • MAHORA
  • MOTILLEJA
  • NAVAS DE JORQUERA
  • POZO LORENTE
  • RECUEJA (LA)
  • VALDEGANGA
  • VILLA DE VES
  • VILLAMALEA
  • VILLATOYA
  • VILLAVALIENTE

Sierra de Alcaraz

Municipios de la Comarca de Sierra de Alcaraz

  • ALCARAZ
  • BALLESTERO (EL)
  • BIENSERVIDA
  • CASAS DE LAZARO
  • COTILLAS
  • MASEGOSO
  • PATERNA DEL MADERA
  • PEÑASCOSA
  • POVEDILLA
  • RIOPAR
  • ROBLEDO
  • SALOBRE
  • SAN PEDRO
  • VIANOS
  • VILLAPALACIOS
  • VILLAVERDE DE GUADALIMAR
  • VIVEROS

Sierra de Segura

Municipios de la Comarca de Sierra de Segura

  • AYNA
  • BORRAGA
  • ELCHE DE LA SIERRA
  • FEREZ
  • LETUR
  • MOLINICOS
  • NERPIO
  • SOCOVOS
  • YESTE

Campo de Montiel

Municipios de la Comarca de Campo de Montiel (Albacete)

  • BALAZOTE
  • EL BALLESTERO
  • EL BONILLO
  • LA HERRERA
  • LEZUZA
  • MUNERA
  • OSSA DE MONTIEL
  • POVEDILLA
  • VIVEROS

Ciudad Real

Campo de Calatrava

Municipios de la Comarca de Campo de Calatrava

  • ALMAGRO
  • BOLAÑOS DE CALATRAVA
  • CARRION DE CALATRAVA
  • MIGUELTURRA
  • MORAL DE CALATRAVA
  • POZUELO DE CALATRAVA
  • TORRALBA DE CALATRAVA

Campo de Montiel

Municipios de la Comarca de Campo de Montiel

  • ALBALADEJO
  • ALCUBILLAS
  • ALHAMBRA
  • CARRIZOSA
  • FUENLLANA
  • MONTIEL
  • VILLAHERMOSA
  • VILLANUEVA DE LA FUENTE
  • VILLANUEVA DE LOS INFANTES

La Mancha

Municipios de la Comarca de La Mancha (Ciudad Real)

  • ALCAZAR DE SAN JUAN
  • ARENAS DE SAN JUAN
  • ARGAMASILLA DE ALBA
  • CAMPO DE CRIPTANA
  • DAIMIEL
  • HERENCIA
  • LAS LABORES
  • MANZANARES
  • MEMBRILLA
  • PEDRO MUÑOZ
  • PUERTOLAPICE
  • RUIDERA
  • SAN CARLOS DEL VALLE
  • SOCUELLAMOS
  • SOLANA (LA)
  • TOMELLOSO
  • VALDEPEÑAS
  • VILLARRUBIA DE LOS OJOS
  • VILLARTA DE SAN JUAN

Montes del Norte

Municipios de la Comarca de Montes del Norte

  • FUENTE EL FRESNO

Cuenca

Alcarria

Municipios de la Comarca de Alcarria

  • ALBALATE DE LAS NOGUERAS
  • ARRANCACEPAS
  • BARAJAS DE MELO
  • BUCIEGAS
  • CAÑAVERAS
  • CASTILLO-ALBARÁÑEZ
  • HUETE
  • OLMEDA DE LA CUESTA
  • OLMEDILLA DE ELIZ
  • PERALEJA (LA)
  • PINEDA DE CIGÜELA
  • SALCEDA -TRASIERRA
  • TORRALBA
  • TORREJONCILLO DEL REY
  • VALDECOLMENAS (LOS)
  • VELLISCA
  • VILLANUEVA DE GUADAMAJUD
  • VILLAR DE DOMINGO GARCÍA
  • VILLAR Y VELASCO
  • VILLAREJO DE LA PEÑUELA
  • VILLAS DE LA VENTOSA

La Manchuela

Municipios de la Comarca de La Manchuela

  • ALARCON
  • BUENACHE DE ALARCON
  • CAMPILLO DE ALTOBUEY
  • CASAS DE BENITEZ
  • CASAS DE GUIJARRO
  • CASASIMARRO
  • CASTILLEJO DE INIESTA
  • GABALDÓN
  • GRAJA DE INIESTA
  • HERRUMBLAR (EL)
  • HONTECILLAS
  • INIESTA
  • LEDAÑA
  • MINGLANILLA
  • MOTILLA DEL PALANCAR
  • OLMEDILLA DE ALARCON
  • PERAL (EL)
  • PICAZO (EL)
  • POZORRUBIELOS DE LA MANCHA
  • PUEBLA DEL SALVADOR
  • QUINTANAR DEL REY
  • SISANTE
  • TÉBAR
  • VALHERMOSO DE LA FUENTE
  • VALVERDEJO
  • VILLAGARCIA DEL LLANO
  • VILLALPARDO
  • VILLANUEVA DE LA JARA
  • VILLARTA

La Mancha Alta

Municipios de la Comarca de La Mancha Alta

  • ACEBRON (EL)
  • ALCAZAR DEL REY
  • ALCONCHEL DE LA ESTRELLA
  • ALMARCHA (LA)
  • ALMENDROS
  • ALMONACID DEL MARQUESADO
  • ALTAREJOS
  • ATALAYA DE CAÑAVATE
  • BELINCHON
  • BELMONTEJO
  • CAMPOS DEL PARAÍSO
  • CAÑADA JUNCOSA
  • CAÑAVATE (EL)
  • CASTILLO DE GARCIMUÑOZ
  • CERVERA DEL LLANO
  • FUENTE DE PEDRO NAHARRO
  • HINOJOSA (LA)
  • HITO (EL)
  • HONRUBIA
  • HORCAJO DE SANTIAGO
  • HUELVES
  • HUERTA DE LA OBISPALIA
  • MONTALBANEJO
  • MONTALBO
  • MOTA DE ALTAREJOS
  • OLIVARES DEL JUCAR
  • PALOMARES DEL CAMPO
  • PAREDES
  • PINAREJO
  • POZORRUBIO DE SANTIAGO
  • PUEBLA DE ALMENARA
  • ROZALEN DEL MONTE
  • SAELICES
  • SAN LORENZO DE LA PARRILLA
  • TARANCON
  • TORRUBIA DEL CAMPO
  • TORRUBIA DEL CASTILLO
  • TRIBALDOS
  • UCLES
  • VALVERDE DEL JUCAR
  • VILLALGORDO DEL MARQUESADO
  • VILLAR DE CAÑAS
  • VILLAREJO DE FUENTES
  • VILLAREJO-PERIESTEBAN
  • VILLARES DEL SAZ
  • VILLARRUBIO
  • VILLAVERDE Y PASACONSOL
  • ZAFRA DE ZANCARA
  • ZAFRA DE TAJO

La Mancha Baja

Municipios de la Comarca de La Mancha Baja

  • ALBERCA DE ZANCARA (LA)
  • BELMONTE
  • CARRASCOSA DE HARO
  • CASAS DE FERNANDO ALONSO
  • CASAS DE HARO
  • CASAS DE LOS PINOS
  • FUENTELESPINO DE HARO
  • HINOJOSOS (LOS)
  • HONTANAYA
  • MESAS (LAS)
  • MONREAL DEL LLANO
  • MOTA DEL CUERVO
  • OSA DE LA VEGA
  • PEDERNOSO (EL)
  • PEDROÑERAS (LAS)
  • POZOAMARGO
  • PROVENCIO (EL)
  • RADA DE HARO
  • SAN CLEMENTE
  • SANTA MARIA DEL CAMPO RUS
  • SANTA MARIA DE LOS LLANOS
  • TRESJUNCOS
  • VARA DE REY
  • VILLAESCUSA DE HARO
  • VILLAMAYOR DE SANTIAGO
  • VILLAR DE LA ENCINA

Serranía Alta

Municipios de la Comarca de Serranía Alta

  • CAÑIZARES
  • FUERTEESCUSA
  • HUÉLAMO
  • MAJADAS (LAS)
  • POYATOS
  • TRAGACETE
  • VEGA DEL CODORNO

Serranía Media

Municipios de la Comarca de Serranía Media

  • ABIA DE LA OBISPALIA
  • ALBADANEJO DEL CUENDE
  • ALMODOVAR DEL PINAR
  • ARCAS DEL VILLAR
  • ARCOS DE LA SIERRA
  • CHILLARON DE CUENCA
  • BARCHIN DEL HOYO
  • BASCUÑANA DE SAN PEDRO
  • BEAMUD
  • BUENACHE DE LA SIERRA
  • CAÑAMARES
  • CASTILLEJO-SIERRA
  • CIERVA (LA)
  • CUENCA
  • CHUMILLAS
  • ENGUIDANOS
  • FRESNEDA DE ALTAREJOS
  • FRESNEDA DE LA SIERRA
  • FRONTERA (LA)
  • FUENTENAVA DE JÁBAGA
  • FUENTES
  • MARIANA
  • MONTEAGUDO DE LAS SALINAS
  • OLMEDA DEL REY
  • PALOMERA
  • PARACUELLOS
  • PARRA DE LAS VEGAS (LA)
  • PESQUERA (LA)
  • PIQUERAS DEL CASTILLO
  • PORTILLA
  • SOLERA DE GABALDON
  • SOTORRIBAS
  • UÑA
  • VALDEMORILLO DE LA SIERRA
  • VALDEMORO-SIERRA
  • VALDETÓRTOLA
  • VALERAS (LAS)
  • VILLALBA DE LA SIERRA
  • VILLAR DE OLALLA
  • ZARZUELA

Toledo

La Mancha

Municipios de la Comarca de La Mancha (Toledo)

  • CABAÑAS DE YEPES
  • CABEZAMESADA
  • CAMUÑAS
  • CIRUELOS
  • CONSUEGRA
  • CORRAL DE ALMAGUER
  • DOSBARRIOS
  • GUARDIA (LA)
  • HUERTA DE VALDECARABANOS
  • LILLO
  • MADRIDEJOS
  • MANZANEQUE
  • MIGUEL ESTEBAN
  • MORA
  • NOBLEJAS
  • OCAÑA
  • ONTIGOLA
  • PUEBLA DE ALMORADIEL (LA)
  • QUERO
  • QUINTANAR DE LA ORDEN
  • ROMERALES
  • SANTA CRUZ DE ZARZA
  • TEMBLEQUE
  • TOBOSO (EL)
  • TURLEQUE
  • URDA
  • VILLACAÑAS
  • VILLA DE DON FADRIQUE (LA)
  • VILLAFRANCA DE LOS CABALLEROS
  • VILLAMUELAS
  • VILLLANUEVA DE ALCARDETE
  • VILLANUEVA DE BOGAS
  • VILLARRUBIA DE SANTIAGO
  • VILLASEQUILLA DE YEPES
  • VILLATOBAS
  • YEPES

Montes de Toledo

Municipios de la Comarca de Montes de Toledo

  • ORGAZ
  • YEBENES (LOS)
Comarcas de la Mancha La Mancha -Toledo La Mancha - Ciudad Real Montes de Toledo Serranía Media Serranía Alta La Alcarria La Mancha Centro La Mancha baja La mancha Alta La Manchuela Montes del Norte Montes del Norte Campo de Calatrava Albacete (Centro) Sierra del Segura Sierra de Alcaraz La Manchuela Almansa Hellín Campo de Montiel (Ciudad Real) Campo de Montiel
  
 
 
 

 

THE HARVESTING OF THE FLOWER

The weather conditions of the production area of the saffron under the PDO La Mancha Saffron make the flowers bloom between the second fortnight of October and the first fortnight of November.

Daily, during this period, the flower is harvested, in consecutive rounds in the saffron field.

The labour is done from early in the morning, avoiding the heat of the day, until all the flowers that bloomed the night before have been harvested. The flowers are harvested by pinching the merger of the stem and the calyx, to avoid the stigmas get detached- and so lose a distinctive characteristic of the saffron under the PDO La Mancha Saffron, which is always presented in triads.-

The cut flowers are softly placed, avoiding compression, in containers which allow ventilation, traditionally wicker baskets. Theses containers are kept away from direct sunlight and are immediately taken to the pruning.


 

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THE PRUNING OF THE FLOWER

The harvested flowers undergo a process of pruning - the extraction of the stigmas, which must be done within the following 12 hours to the harvest. Temporarily, and until the flowers are pruned, they are laid, avoiding compression, on a dry and absorbent surface.

The process of extracting the stigmas is a manual process which requires expertise. It is done by pinching the style where it is white. As mentioned above, the saffron stigmas under the PDO La Mancha Saffron are presented in the shape of groups of three stigmas, merged to a part of the white style which is shorter than the stigmas. As the stigmas are extracted, they are left in a container until the process of drying.


 

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THE DRYING

The process of drying applied to the stigmas is a determining factor in the manufacturing of the saffron under the PDO La Mancha Saffron. As it provides the final characteristics of this spice:

  1. the humidity
  2. sensory characteristics (colour, taste and scent)
  3. physicochemical and biological stability.

The drying of the saffron under the PDO La Mancha Saffron, as it is established in the Product Specification, is strongly related to the expertise of the skilled workers and the tradition.

Dried saffron is quickly stored in containers that keep it away from humidity and light, and at a moderate temperature.


 

 

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THE PACKAGING

The Saffron under the PDO La Mancha Saffron is commercialised exclusively in packages of a maximum of 100 grams, with a sealing system that guarantees its conservation, and it has been produced in the year prior to its packaging. Until it is brought into the market, the saffron is stored at a temperature below 25C.

The authorised companies to package the saffron under the PDO La Mancha Saffron have suitable self-control systems, to fulfill the Product specification of the Protected Designation of Origin, and which have been certified by an independent control agency that validates the compliance of the Product specification with regard to the physicochemical and sensory qualities. Every company is audited yearly to verify that the comply with the Product specification. The audit is carried out by an independent and impartial control Agency which has been validated by ENAC (Spanish National Accreditation Body) by the regulation UNE-EN ISO/IEC 17065:2012 and authorised by the Agrifood Department of Castilla La Mancha.

The labelling of the saffron under the PDO La Mancha Saffron clearly shows the Community Collective Mark, the data of packing and use-by date, according to the current legislation.


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