Apart from its rich and unique fragrance, as well as its bold, vibrant colour, the exceptional quality of this saffron is further enhanced by the distinct appearance and length of its stigmas. It is cultivated from a unique terroir located in the heart of St-Éphrem-de-Beauce and is hand-picked, expertly pruned, and compares admirably with its overseas counterparts.
Saffron is traditionally grown in Iran and Spain, along with a few other countries, French Canada is proving a valuable terroir for this ancient spice. While the short growing season allows for a modest harvest, the intensity of the summer sun yields an expansive bouquet.
The best way to use it is to lightly crumble a few threads into a glass of hot water and allow it to infuse a few minutes. This method allows it to both develop its flavor and release its yellow-orange color. Perfect for fish, seafood, risotto, or even desserts!
Saint-Jean-Baptiste in St-Éphrem-de-Beauce, is a country road that leads to the little farm L’artisan d’ail; where the climate, soil conditions and the orientation of the sun all perfectly align to create the ideal conditions for saffron cultivation.
As a youngster, Jonathan often accompanied his mother on her garden rounds, which fuelled his dreams of becoming a farmer. After seeing a television program dedicated to responsible farming practices, he decided to grow saffron – an emerging, yet still challenging practice in Quebec. At the end of October, saffron is handpicked, one Crocus flower at a time, then delicately pruned in order to extract the fragile stigmas, one by one before drying.
Jonathan is of the opinion that saffron is unlike any other spice and believes that it should be used to complement and elevate flavours of dishes.