R_T_Azienda-Agricola-La-Branche-(2)

“To get a kilo of saffron you need two hundred and fifty thousand flowers and six hundred hours of manual labour”
Diego Bovard

Saffron is an inverse plant: it flowers when the weather conditions should not allow it to. Differently to all other flowers, saffron blooms in autumn, when it begins to get cold; in September the small bulbs start to sprout and small lilac-coloured flowers bloom, with small red filaments. Each flower is delicately picked by hand, cleaned – always by hand – to remove the pistils which are then laid out to dry.
Saffron is cultivated by hand: from weeding in the fields to the packaging of pistils. Nonetheless Diego Bovard, agrotechnic concentrating on projects for the development of the territory, does not like things that are too easy, therefore he decided to plant saffron bulbs in his vegetable garden in Morgex. And to move in a stubborn, opposite direction. He was inspired by a book by the agronomist abbot Joseph-Marie Henry who, in the late eighteenth century, catalogued the rare and valuable plants of the Aosta Valley. It was thanks to this that Diego discovered the ancient art of saffron farming in La Salle and this seemed to be a good enough reason to revive this tradition. A small piece of land was used to begin a unique production in the territory: saffron from the Aosta Valley. Diego has a dream, that of making it a typical product of the area. If it is true that tradition is a successful innovation, then this is correct path to follow. Chefs in the area have already realised this and Diego’s wife is currently perfecting the recipe for fondue with the addition of saffron from the Aosta Valley. ©Dispensa