"Taliwine saffron" or "Tizit Nazafran" in Berber, this is the name that belongs to her town and is nicknamed after her name, a Moroccan earthy product that is one of the finest, best and best types of saffron on the global level, with red-purple hair and the best of which is soft, good in color, good-smelling, thick-haired.


      The Kingdom of Morocco sits on the throne of the countries producing saffron after India, Iran and Spain. Moroccan free saffron is spread in the beautiful village of Taliouine, on an area of ​​about 540 hectares, with 5 village communities: Agadir Melloul, Assayes, Tassosfi and Sidi Ahsain And “Ascawn” in the foothills adjacent to a nearby mountainous area called “Siroua” in the Atlas mountain range, the Little and the Great. It is located at an altitude of 1,400 meters above sea level, and about 90 km in the Moroccan region of "Taroudant" is the town of "Taliouine", known for the cultivation of Moroccan saffron and the production of what has become known as "red gold."


        The town of "Red Gold" Taliouine, as it is known, has hosted annually and permanently since 2007 a festival called "The International Festival of Free Saffron". Today, its producers compete with the countries of India, Iran and Greece, in addition to that, the producers of the fine authentic "Taliouine Saffron".


      Taliouine saffron is the source of livelihood for a large number of Talwen families, as well as some subsistence farming work, as collecting saffron flowers requires a lot of experience, as obtaining one gram of pure and dry saffron requires about 200 flowers, which is a large number and requires obtaining 500 grams of Red gold "or free saffron Cultivation of no less than 70 thousand flowers, provided that they are all correct and valid, not damaged. Fresh saffron for coloring after being completely dried loses a lot of weight, and 25 kilograms of it becomes after drying only 5 kilograms.



  Most of the Talwinin take it every day in food and drink tea and serve it to Moroccan and foreign tourists due to its important nutritional and medicinal value, as the townspeople believe that it treats about 90 diseases.


       Saffron or red gold is used as a treatment in many traditional Moroccan recipes. It is used as a stimulant that helps urination and digestion, and it is also used to treat chronic diseases such as asthma and rheumatism.


 The price per kilogram (US $ 3000), and it takes between 120 thousand and 140 thousand flowers to produce one kilogram of "free saffron Taliouine".


      Saffron flower is harvested between mid-October and mid-November within two or three hours before it is opened in the early morning away from the sun's heat to avoid wilting. The saffron that has been harvested when the flowers are fully open is considered second class in quality due to the loss of the plant's flavor.

The production of saffron is primarily due to women who play a pivotal role in the harvesting process due to the accuracy and high craftsmanship that it requires.


 The Janah method is very beautiful, as the flower pickers move through the corridors and between the lines during the harvesting process, taking care not to destroy the flowers of the other onions that have not yet opened while raising their voices with warm Amazigh laments.


    Agricultural workers begin picking the purple flowers and arranging them carefully in cane baskets at the early hours of dawn, then extracting the red tufts to line up on a table in the foyer of Hassan's (51-year-old) home adjacent to a field of saffron, waiting for them to dry before making their way to marketing.


    The saffron flower is taken basically between the thumb and forefinger of the hand, it is cut by the nails, and this is what made many women specialize in harvesting, while the specialized men take care of the process of planting, irrigation and protection from parasitic plants, in the end the crop is combined in solid baskets of medium length and width to avoid accumulation Traits are broken.


    The second stage consists in sending flowers after harvesting on the same day to the home to separate these "true saffron" features from the impurities and other parts of the flower, taking into account the completion of this process immediately after harvesting.



 The precautions of farmers and women workers taken during the separation of traits mainly control the quality of the product, as it is dried under the shade or on fire, and during this process saffron loses 4 to 5 percent of the weight of these fresh flowers. Precise drying processes of saffron, isolating it from light and air, placing it in a dry place, long storage period in tightly closed glass containers, with these professional methods, farmers in Taliouine area can maintain the quality of saffron for more than 3 consecutive years.



    Saffron is the king of spices, without any doubt, the scarcity of the original saffron of high quality has made it the throne of the food products most vulnerable to fraud and forgery, as many merchants mix the original strings of saffron with red strings of some similar plants, so that the average person is difficult to distinguish between them due to the strong smell of the strings. Original.

Its price is also high, due to the fact that the flower containing the saffron threads requires special climatic conditions that combine at the same time between summer heat and winter cold and moisture.


      Moroccans' consumption of saffron peaks in July, when there are frequent occasions and celebrations where meals are served with saffron, such as roasted chicken.


 On the other hand, saffron is in great demand in the Gulf markets, as it is used as an important recipe in Gulf cuisine, as well as in preparing Arabic coffee and saffron milk.


    Saffron or red gold is the king of medicine, as saffron is used in many traditional Moroccan methods of treatment as a stimulant that helps urination and digestion, and it is also used to treat chronic diseases such as asthma and rheumatism, and it is also useful in treating cold and cough, as it is extracted from a powder used in treating acne and many From skin diseases, saffron paste is also used as a treatment for bruises.


    Saffron strings are used as a herbal medicine that repels cramps and flatulence, as Europeans in the Middle Ages used saffron to treat respiratory infections and disorders such as coughs, colds, scarlet fever, smallpox, cancer, hypoxia and asthma. Dietary and anti-depressant. Also, blood disorders, insomnia, paralysis, heart disease, stomach disorders, gout, chronic uterine bleeding and eye disorders.


Development and marketing



    The Moroccan Institute for Agricultural Research highlighted the efforts made by Morocco to develop saffron, which came within a dynamic that the Kingdom had launched during the "Green Morocco Plan", where the cultivation of saffron is one of the most important Moroccan products that employ a large number of farmers in mountainous areas in southern Morocco, especially Including the "Taliouine" region in the "Taroudant" region.





   Moroccan saffron obtained the designation of origin "Taliouine saffron" in 2010, and in this context, "Dar Saffron" was established in the city of Taliouine, which constituted an effective way to value this scarce food item and thus improve the material conditions of farmers who use this agriculture.


    This type of spice called "red gold" due to its high price, scarcity, and many uses, makes it vulnerable to counterfeiting. In order to protect the "reputation" of local saffron, the Protected Origin Label mark was created with a monopoly on granting "Dar Saffron", a testimony of the product's conformity to the quality standards that distinguish Taliouine saffron.


   Taliouine saffron "is the best in the world according to experts",





A beautiful story narrated to us by a tourist visiting the town of Taliouine that takes us and you to that wonderful and simple atmosphere in Taliouine and their love for saffron or red gold with its new name





       Next to a small wooden table sit the two tourists, Sarah and Pune, from Belgium, who are sitting and resting after they participated in the harvesting process. Sarah said that in Belgium she buys one gram of saffron for about 5 euros, and she said, "I am not necessarily sure whether it is really original or not. The owner of the shop we trust and he assured us that it is authentic saffron."


Udi's mother (75 years old) is also accustomed to using saffron on a daily basis in cooking her favorite dish. She puts saffron filaments in a local dish with rice and milk. She told us, "This is a special experience for me. I only knew saffron wrapped in cans and had never seen fields." And floral. "





     Saffron: These spices usually add a distinct flavor to "tagine" dishes with chicken meat in the region where about 1500 of its families live on this cultivation. But many people prefer to sell red gold, "so that they can acquire for its price something that meets their basic needs," explains Idris (24 years old), who is active in a youth association in the area.


In addition to its material damage, Idris, a son of the region, believes that the forging of Taliouine saffron "harms our image and the reputation of this cultivation, which we are proud of and inherited from father to grandfather."


According to figures from the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture, the total production exceeded 6.8 tons in 2020, while the cultivated area exceeded 1,800 hectares. In total, the agricultural sector represents 14 percent of Morocco's gross domestic product, and between 15 and 21 percent of its exports.

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