More precisely, Krokos Kozanis (Greek Red Saffron) has been cultivated for the past 300 years, exclusively in some villages of Kozani Prefecture, namely in Kroki of Karditsa, Agia Paraskevi, Ano and Kato Komi, Lefkopigi, Petrana, etc., while it is renowned for its excellent quality, making it one of the world’s most intense and valuable varieties.
Local residents plant the saffron crocus variety every summer. When the autumn comes, in the middle of October, the flowers that have bloomed are collected by groups of women, in their aprons or their baskets, and are carried to their homes for the main and delicate drying process. After this and till the end of the drying process, they begin separating the red stigmas from the yellow stamens, pollen and other impurities. This work is done by hand and it takes 20 to 60 days. Then, the dry product is placed in containers, separately the red from yellow, in order to be ready for delivery to the market. It is noteworthy it takes about 50,000 stigmas to produce just 100 grams of dried red crocus.
You can find it in two forms, in special packaging. In most cases it is in the form of a flexible, loose, elastic and hydroscopic mass coming from the dried stigmata of the Crocus Sativus Linneaus flowers, or in powder form after the crushing of its red fibres. Furthermore, countries such as Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, England, Germany, Scandinavia and Netherlands, the USA, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Brazil, Argentina, Japan and several other countries are among those consuming saffron mainly in their traditional cuisine.
A tiny amount of Kozani saffron may add a fantastic flavor, color and aroma to all your dishes, including pasta, rice, soups, sauces, chicken, meat and fish. Krokos Kozanis is an undoubtedly pure product and makes an excellent drink if combined with coffee or with different tea flavors.
Its fibres give food a particular yellow color, a pleasant and distinct slightly bitter taste and a light aroma. Owing to this distinguishing yellow color, foods giving a stronger color, such as tomato and spinach, should be avoided. In such dishes you can use saffron only for its taste.
You should only mind the amount you use. If you add too much saffron to your food, its aroma will be equally intense. If you use too much saffron, you may have the opposite effect than what was originally intended. A far as its usage is concerned, it should be noted that before using saffron, you should put it in a bowl with water for 2 hours for the color to come out. Saffron fibres should remain longer than saffron powder in the water. If you are to use it in dough, soaking is necessary, while when used in cooked dishes, its color emerges gradually. Another way is to sprinkle saffron on food, especially on soup, just before serving. It is impressive as the yellow color comes out around its red fibres. In order to be able to adjust how much saffron you are going to use by counting the fibres, you should know that 1 gram of saffron depending on length and thickness has 320-360 fibres.
More information at http://www.kozani.gr/krokos/