Saffron of QuercySaffron of Quercy
©Saffron of Quercy PDO|Jérôme Morel - Les Editions de la Cévenne
The Red Goldof Quercy

Cajarc, city of saffron

It is here, in Quercy, on the terres de Cajarc and Saint-Chels, between valley of the Lot and caussian limestone, that saffron has been cultivated since the Middle Ages. Marketed extensively until the French Revolution, crocus sativus linnaeus, from its original name, nearly disappeared from Quercy until families found renewed interest in it in the 1900s. Small plots, saffronières or saffranerio in Occitan, are dedicated to the cultivation of these purple flowers. From this know-how, Cajarc obtained the classification “Site Remarquable du Goût” in 2011.



flowering season

It is in the heart of the flower that the treasure is hidden. The flowers bloom in the fall, from October to November. The bloom lasts about 3 weeks. The life of the flower is ephemeral, 48h maximum.

This is when they should be harvested carefully and without delay. It is by picking the stigmas from these flowers, the deep red filaments, and then drying them that we obtain the precious spice.

Patience and know-how are required! The gestures of the picking are very precise and date back to the 15th century. The flowers are delicately wrapped in the palm of the hand in order to cut the stem with the fingernail and repeat tirelessly. It takes 200 flowers to make 1 gram of saffron.


a mysterious spice

Saffron is a mysterious, subtle, delicate and virtuous spice. Formerly appreciated for its dyeing qualities, saffron parfumes both savory and sweet dishes, embellishes dishes from the simplest to the most gastronomic. Its visual and aesthetic aspect is also at the origin of very original artistic creations. Saffron is very easy to marry and many associations are fabulous.

The secret of a good use of saffron:

  • Saffron needs time to develop its aromas. Therefore, it should always be infused before use in very little hot water or liquid preparation related to its preparation
  • Incorporate the infusion 10 minutes before the end of cooking without boiling
  • Saffron should be stored away from air and light.


Crocus, saffron flowerJerome Morel Fk7a9358
©Saffron of Quercy

The culture of saffron remains mysterious in many ways

Didier Burg, saffron producer

Around the spice


Producers have come together in the association Les Safraniers du Quercy. The saffron grown is of high quality, in Label Rouge and IGP approach.


Every year in October, the association of producers Les safraniers du Quercy organizes a traditional festival around the red gold of Quercy: the Saffron festival. This is an opportunity to learn a little more about the famous crocus sativus linnaeus, from its planting to harvesting, through pruning to the plate: tours of saffron farms, saffron market, all-saffron meal.


    Saffron accompanies both savory and sweet dishes with its warm, fruity flavors. Some ideas for dishes to make:



    Specializing in Crocus Sativus research, Latitude Safran is the first company to
    have developed a extraction process for the precious spice. It is thestarred chef, Claude-Emmanuel Robin, who patented this extraction process, allowing to transcribe the properties of saffron in liquid as accurately as possible, to remove all the flavors. Thanks to this innovation, the alchemist chef has developed a whole range of surprising by-products such as “saffron pearls”, a caviar with saffron from Quercy. This range is intended both for professionals and for individuals. Its products are sold in fine grocery stores in the Lot: saffron syrup, saffron jelly, saffron salt… Latitude Safran products are 100% natural and of plant origin.

    On sunny days, come and enjoy gourmet moments at the Maison du Safran. Chef Claude-Emmanuel Robin offers you a colorful, seasonal and strong cuisine around Signature dishes, saffron or not and sweet creations of the moment.


    The ear on the alert