Family-owned, multi award-winning saffron from the Huon Valley Terry and Nicky Noonan started Tas-Saff in 1990 on three acres of land overlooking the Huon River at Glaziers Bay, Tas-Saff is now a thriving commercial saffron producer.
Terry and Nicky arrived in Tasmania after making a sea-change from Sydney. Giving up their secure jobs was made easier by their purchase of a small cottage on 3 acres in the idyllic Huon Valley in the state’s south, famed for fruit production.
Being foodies, it was while having friends over for a visit from Sydney, that they decided to prepare a paella, and found it difficult to source saffron locally. Curiosity prevailed and the couple found that Tasmania had ideal conditions for growing saffron, and that the vast majority of saffron sold in Australia was imported.
Terry and Nicky sensed the opportunity of replacing imported produce with home grown saffron. This led to a fantastic love affair with the tiny red threads that has spanned almost three decades.
Recovering from once in a century flooding which almost wiped out their entire crop in only their third year, Tas-Saff have risen to become the most successful saffron producers in Australia.
What is Saffron?
Saffron is a spice derived from the dried stigma of the flower of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus), a species of crocus in the family Iridaceae.
The finest quality saffron – like ours – is painstakingly picked by hand, and last year Tas-Saff picked over 2 million individual stigmas, or threads as they are sometimes known.
The history of saffron cultivation reaches back more than 3,000 years. The wild precursor of domesticated saffron crocus was Crocus cartwrightianus. Human cultivators bred wild specimens by selecting for unusually long stigmas. Thus, a sterile mutant form of C. cartwrightianus, C. sativus, emerged in late Bronze Age Crete.
Experts believe saffron was first documented in a 7th century BC Assyrian botanical reference compiled under Ashurbanipal. Since then, documentation of saffrons use over the span of 4,000 years in the treatment of some 90 illnesses has been uncovered.
Tas-Saff's half gram and 0.1g packs are available on Pure Foods Tasmania's online store during October 2020 as a limited offer.
Visit Tas-Saff's website: www.tas-saff.com.au