Safinter scrupulously controls all the processes involved in procuring the precious spice, from harvesting the fragile seasonal flowers to extracting the bloom's stigmas by hand. Labor and time -- it takes 160,000 flowers to produce 1 kg. Spain Safinter La Mancha Saffron One of the world's oldest and largest producers of Spanish saffron, Safinter is also the only supplier of organic saffron certified by both the European ecological agriculture standards and the National Organic Program in the USA. Since 1912, the Gonzalez family has sold top-grade saffron from Albacete, a Spanish city in the famous 'La Mancha' region renown for superior-quality saffron. ts vibrant crimson color is evidence of the saffron's quality. Used throughout history for culinary and medicinal purposes, today's discerning chefs and home cooks enjoy saffron for its distinct taste and diverse applications. Culinary use: In Mediterranean cultures, saffron complements many traditional recipes, most notably rice. In Italy, the famous Milan-style risotto has saffron as an ingredient, as does Bouillabaisse in France. It is typically used in pastries in Sweden and the United Kingdom. In Spain, it is present both in Paella as well as Zarzuela de pescado (an assorted fish and seafood dish), which are two of the most typical dishes in Spanish cuisine. ? On the Asian continent, including India, it is mixed with milk and in the Middle East -- it is frequently used for rice, deserts and as an infusion in drinks such as tea or coffee. In Japan, saffron is added to enhance the flavor of fish. Health benefits: According to Safinter ancient Egyptian texts mention the medicinal properties of saffron. Greek doctors Dioscorides, Hippocrates and Galen attributed the following health benefits to saffron: stimulant for the appetite, to alleviate stomach problems, sedative for teething infants, and aid against coughs and bronchitis. During the Renaissance in Europe, saffron was referred to in the Pharmacopoeias and collections of classical recipes to be used as: a rejuvenator, antidepressant and aphrodisiac, and for headache.