The way of spices

Flower of antiquity

The culture of the fascinating and purple Crocus flower has its roots in ancient times, so much so that it was already mentioned in an Egyptian papyrus dating back to 1550 BC. Virgil, Pliny and many other classical chroniclers often mention it in their masterpieces. Homer mentions it in the Iliad, while the Romans used to dissolve saffron in wine, sprinkling it in the theatres and using it to cover the streets when princes and emperors passed by.


Despite a long-lasting disagreement among historians about the origins of saffron, today we are certain that this precious essence came directly from Asia Minor. It later landed in Tunisia, Greece and almost all of North Africa and gave rise to a large export trade.

During the 7th century, it is said that it was the Arabs who brought saffron to Europe, through Spain. Others, on the other hand, maintain that it was the Phoenicians who brought saffron to the Old Continent, the protagonists of a real monopoly in trade in those years.


A curious tour halfway around the world for a name with many versions. The Spanish name for saffron is “Azafràn”, which derives from the Arabic name “Al Zafaran” – which can be translated as “yellow” – still in use in the Iberian peninsula and in the Hispanic American Republics. The rest of the world, instead, still uses the ancient Persian name “Zaafran”, more or less adapted, which literally means “having golden stigmas”.


A story that unites cultures, hands, experiences, knowledge. From Italy to Asia, and from Asia back to Italy. For large-scale distribution, the food service industry, and multiple uses in Nutraceuticals.


At the center of the itinerary, one of the most historically precious spices, saffron: a very ancient flower, with ancestral references, cited by the great Greek writers and often present in the pages of the Holy Scriptures. An essence of distant origins, arrived in the West with the Arabs and spread throughout Mediterranean Europe with multiple uses and combinations.

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