A panorama of purple spots is revealed east of Taroudant at the intersection of the Anti-Atlas and the High Atlas. This is not an illusion; these are fields of Crocus Sativus flowers. Even if their name is unfamiliar, you are probably familiar with the spice they create. Welcome to Taliouine, the traditional Saffron land.
Saffron, also referred to as Red Gold, demands special care, from planting the bulbs to conditioning the filaments. You will have the opportunity to learn the secrets of this ancestral method when you visit this region during the harvest in October. A natural, cultural, and gastronomic adventure is thus presented to you, highlighted by a visit to a rock-carved architectural work.
Saffron is one of the world’s most requested spices, but it is also one of the most expensive. It grows from a purple bulb with three red stigmas on the corolla. Its cultivation requires specific conditions, which exist in the Taliouine biosphere.
Harvest is done exclusively at sunrise for two weeks in October. Then comes a long process of extraction and preparation that must be done by hand. To obtain 1 gram of the queen of spices, more than 200 blossoms must be picked and pruned! As a result of this exclusively female labour, Saffron is not only pricey, but also delicious and sophisticated.
Saffron is considered sacred in Taliouine. Several cooperatives have emerged in the region to preserve its production. You will have the opportunity, in the company of one of cooperatives, to explore the vast world of this delicious delicacy and get the desired quantity.
The discovery of Taliouine is a genuine getaway that is as calming as it is enlightening. You will be accompanied by a local cooperative and will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of saffron. Begin the day at dawn by discovering the natural border that protects the Corcus fields, and then follow the meticulous picking procedure. Then, observe the extraction and processing of the stigmas by cooperative members, who will explain to you how to tell authentic saffron from fake.
After tasting a delicious tagine with Saffron, 20 minutes south of the village, head to Ifri Agadir. It’s a genuine collective attic hidden beneath an outstanding tuff rock deposit. Some boxes are carved into the cliff, while others are hidden at the ends of underground passageways. You will explore all the splendors of this architectural treasure, part of which is still operational, when accompanying Aicha, the guardian of the place!
Saffron has long been used as a premium cosmetic product for to its natural coloring characteristics. Legend has it that Cleopatra used Saffron in her beauty rituals. She added a quarter cup of Saffron to her famed mare’s milk baths to get a tanned and luminous skin.