In parts one and two of our story unfolding saffron in Morocco we took you on a journey discovering Talouine, the city that is the heart of Moroccan saffron. From there we showcased the people behind the production and harvest of this precious crop. Today, you will see how saffron is separated and sold. Saffron farming truly is a labor of love that requires patience and accuracy – it is the most expensive spice in the world after all!
Saffron has an extremely delicate nature. Every thread must be plucked by hand to keep it in tact and leave it undamaged. The tedious work is done using instruments like tweezers to pull the threads loose.
Separating Saffron in Morocco
The purple flowers of the saffron plant are harvested in the early morning hours and then the removal of the stigmas begins. A plate like this may look small but each flower only has 2-3 stigmas This small amount could take hours to produce! If there’s a few more pairs of helping hands it certainly could be sped up.
Bringing Saffron to the Market
Saffron from Taliouine is sold across Morocco but the first place it ends up is the marketplace in Taliouine itself. Walk into any market and you’ll see antique scales with weights of all measure. The men at the helm carefully weigh the threads against small weights or coins. The price depends on quality and quantity. Close to the harvest time the price is lower however later in the year the price will go up as supply goes down.
When the quantity is too small for traditional weights and measures it’s time to improvise. Money can also used as weights. Sellers know the exact weight of each coin and each note and use them as a measurement whenever proper weights won’t work.
If you missed it please be sure to read parts one and two;
We love to show visitors the authentic side of Moroccan life – beyond the tourist attractions. If you’d like to experience Morocco with us and have experiences like witnessing the harvesting of saffron in Morocco get in touch today to set up your trip.