In the territory of Cascia and surroundings produces a particularly fine quality of saffron: the so-called “pure saffron of Cascia”. This gastronomic excellence of Valnerina is enhanced with an important National Exhibition which takes place every year nell’ultimi weekend of October.
The pure saffron Umbria, counted in the list of protected food products in the region by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, is a completely natural product: it is obtained by drying the stigmas of the saffron plant (Crocus sativus), which presents the typical violet flowers that are collected in the period between October and November. Feature of the collection of pure saffron of Cascia is that the operation should take place only in the early hours of the morning, when the flower is still closed, so that the organoleptic properties of the precious inflorescences are altered by exposure to direct sunlight.
The great gastronomic value (and cost) of the saffron of Cascia lies largely on the care with which you select the only part of the stigmas of bright red: only this part is in fact used for the production of the precious saffron and so great care is needed in the division of flowers and stigmas. In the same day they are collected, the stigmas are separated from the flowers and then dried in a low temperature over a wood fire.
The great value of the saffron of Cascia is highlighted by this figure: a single gram of saffron requires the collection of about two hundred flowers. Its importance is underlined by the presence of an association that collects the pure saffron producers of this precious spice.
Many Umbrian recipes which lends saffron of Cascia. This precious ingredient is used it to flavor a variety of dishes very varied, from cookies to pasta, until the meat and desserts.