In the north west of Macedonia, in Greece, there is a small town called Krokos near the city of Kozani, where Krocus Kozanis – the Greek saffron flourishes.
For over 300 years Krocus Kozanis – the Greek saffron – is exclusively cultivated in the area of Kozani. The micro-climate of the area, make Greek saffron a unique product worldwide in terms of quality. If you want to witness the procedure of harvesting you should visit the area in the middle of October when the purplish flowers create a magical picture within the fields of Kozani.
Krocus is a grassy plant reproduced with bulbs planted mostly at the end of the summer or in the beginning of fall. Saffron is obtained methodically by the three stigmas that each Krocus flower has. Collecting Krocus is demanding & means hard work - with people having to bend on their knees for hours in order to collect Krocus.
Its name comes from the Greek mythology; Krocus was a mortal friend of Hermes, the God of thieves & commerce and the messenger of the holy mountain Olympus. During a game of discus throwing, Krocus was fatally injured by Hermes when he accidently hit his head with the discus. Three drops of his blood fell right in the center of a flower that transformed into the three stigmas of the ever since homonymous flower. However there are many stories claiming the origin of Krocus name.
Krocus is an excellent ingredient for cooking or for producing beverages. Only a small quantity is enough to add a great taste, colour and aroma.
Apart from its use as a cooking element, Krocus has a therapeutic dimension known from Ancient Greece. Its profound antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are long proven. Researches for its cancer preventive properties still carry on.
It has rather beneficial effects for human health due to the number of vitamins and minerals that contains. Consuming Krocus often will not only benefit your health but also your shape, since it has the attribute to limit appetite.
Krocus is a spice that should definitely gain its place on our cupboard and become one with our everyday eating routine.