Saffron is a passion for María José San Román. Her Michelin starred restaurant in Alicante features top quality saffron in dozens of dishes. "It’s the only spice that you see, you smell, and you taste with such power," to quote from a New York Times article.
María José is one of the rising new chefs of Spanish cuisine, focused on local, traditional foods and serving her dishes in an honest modern style. Top quality saffron is one of her most important ingredients. In cooperation with the University of Castilla – La Mancha she has studied the fundamental properties of saffron and her mission is to reintroduce this ancient, precious spice into the world of modern cuisine.
Together with farmers in La Mancha she developed a line of premium saffron. Key to the presentation are the foil packets, sealed to protect them from air and light. Each one holds enough saffron for a typical paella or similar sized recipe. Her recommendation is that you grind the saffron into a powder in a mortar, releasing the bright color and intense floral flavor.
La Mancha is famous around the world as the source for the finest, most flavorful saffron. Crocus flowers are hand picked in the fall, and the golden/red pistils are plucked out one by one. The pistils are carefully toasted to dry them and bring out their full saffron flavor. Only the very best Spanish saffron is selected for the San Román line.