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"Pennsylvania Gold" The Mennonite Tradition of Growing Saffron - Saveur Magazine

The spice came to the U.S. during Colonial times along with other old-world crops like spelt. According to food historian William Woys Weaver, saffron-loving Pennsylvanians were once called Geeldeitsch, or “Yellow Dutch,” for the distinctive gold hue of their food. Merchants shipped Pennsylvania saffron to Spanish colonies in the Caribbean and, writes Pat Willard, author of Secrets of Saffron: The Vagabond Life of the World's Most Seductive Spice, in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War, saffron traded on the Philadelphia commodity exchange at a price equal to gold. In the colonies, saffron acted as a flavoring in soups and teas, as well as a domestic remedy for measles and fevers.

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Peace and Plenty Farm in SF Chronicle

Peace and Plenty Farm in SF Chronicle

In January, Price and her husband Simon Avery began selling their first big harvest of the organic saffron they first planted in 2017 at their Peace and Plenty Farm in Kelseyville (Lake County). A Mediterranean specialty, saffron is one of the world’s most expensive spices because each brick-red thread must be picked from a single purple flower. The couple harvested 58,000 flowers by hand, carefully removed the threads and then dried and cured them.

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