Saffron Rose Festival

Saffron Rose Festival

Last Sunday in October
Saffron, the world's most expensive spice, is harvested from the stigmas of the autumn-flowering Crocus sativus . Much of the world's saffron comes from Spain's La Mancha region, and it is used to flavor French bouillabaisse, Spanish paella, cakes, breads, cookies, and the cuisines of East India, the Middle East, and North Africa. It takes 35,000 flowers to produce one pound.
The Saffron Rose Festival held in the town of Consuegra each year celebrates this exotic crop, which must be harvested by hand so that the valuable stigmas are not crumpled. Hosted by a national television personality, the celebrations include parades and contests, traditional folk dancing, and the crowning of a pageant queen. Costumed characters from Cervantes's 17th-century novel, Don Quixote, stroll among the crowds who flock to Consuegra for the fiesta.
CONTACTS:
Tourist Office of Spain
666 Fifth Ave., 35th Fl.
New York, NY 10103
212-265-8822; fax: 212-265-8864
www.okspain.org
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