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A walk along “the saffron road” with Capaerrante & Croco e Smilace

Today we took part in a guided tour at the "Croco e Smilace" farm in Canneto, a "ghost" village with very few inhabited houses located on the far side of the Municipality of San Miniato.

Once we gathered the group, Camilla"capaerrante", our guide showed us the outside of the Canneto villa, a very beautiful residence inhabited until the 70s and today unfortunately at auction.

Then we went for a ring walk entering the San Miniato countryside with Camilla speaking about the surrounding nature.
We went down from the top to meet the ancient chicken and turkey stables and then walk next to the Egola river and admire the badlands meeting the footprints of the sheep along the way and finally the stables.

There clearly my 3 year old son had a lot of fun watching the sheep and lambs on the cheese farm. The view is wonderful, brushstrokes of green, autumn shades.
We continue going under an almost completely harvested vineyard, allowing ourselves a few purple berries that Lorenzo indicates to be very good. The vineyards are from a local organic farm and we will not fail to taste the wines.

Along the way Niccolò a child reads the rhyming phrases written on the sheet that introduce the explanation on saffron meticulously prepared by Camilla.
We discover its origin and its use for curative purposes as early as the 16th century BC. as well as its use among artists for the ability to color saffron. Always due to its scarce availability, processing, poor yield of saffron flowers, its powder is considered precious and also used in religious ceremonies.

Finally we went to the farm of Croce and Smilace. They welcomed us in the garden making us sit on overturned plastic crates and served us a tasty snack. Butter bread and quince and saffron jam and saffron tea. A delight. Simple and impactful. Lorenzo eats it too.
The ancient church with its bell tower with bells and stained glass windows now ruined is beautiful as a frame.

Gabriela tells us how they started, the difficulties they encountered. She and Toni take turns in the story, they make fun of each other, they come from completely different lives .. she from Paris, he from Piedmont with jobs that had nothing to do with the countryside and their dream that plan plan materializes.

It will be the love story of Croco and Smilace but when they take turns and tease each other in the story, there are big smiles and sympathetic looks, their affinity is perceived a lot. The idea, the beginnings, the difficulties and perseverance, the dedication to the land and their work.

The saffron harvest takes place only once a year, around the end of October and must be done very early in the morning. At 4, with a miner's hat. About 350 flowers are needed to make 1 gram of saffron. They are small, delicate, they must be dried. Let's talk about the sachets that are around… nothing to do with this magical authentic production. Saffron comes from Iran and despite the centuries of production it is not recognized as a DOP.
Gabriela and Toni tell us about the effort, commitment, discouragement but also the joy of knowing that their product is found in the kitchens of the most starred chefs, that those looking for true quality turn to them, that their effort translates in gold and tasty dishes. The pistils that Gabriela shows us perfume and at the end of the snack and their explanation I can't wait to prepare a nice risotto ... not with the sachets of the supermarket but with Re Midas, the saffron butter that turns everything into gold. touch.

The box is sober but inside it reveals some secrets ..

In the evening .. I did it, exceptional. Thank you Capaerrante for the original routes designed and for the explanations you have provided us and Toni and Gabriela for their welcome and for sharing their passion with us.

For further info: https://capaerrante.com/

http://www.crocoesmilace.it/

 

 

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