DO Saffron from la Mancha is easily distinguishable due to its red stigmas that extend out clearly from the flower. Its style is also shorter that those in other saffron flowers. Only the saffron harvested in any given year can be labled DO protected, as the product begins to lose quality as time passes. It is sold to customers exclusively in strands and never in powder form. It’s prepared for market via a process of slow drying under low heat, rather than via sunlight, which gives the saffron a stronger flavor and an intense aroma and deeper coloring properties due to its higher safranal content.
As its name indicates, this saffron is found in Castilla-La Mancha, specifically in the provinces of Toledo, Cuenca, Ciudad Real and Albacete.
This variety has a slightly bitter flavor but it’s not astringent. Its aroma is intensely exotic and penetrating.
Following the drying process the saffron acquires the form that we all know: strands of brilliant red color, flexible and resistant, and without wrinkles. This Protected Designation of Origin saffron has potent dyeing abilities; only saffron with dyeing units above 200 can be classified with this designation.