I met the wonderfully knowledgeable and enthusiastic couple who own the Vallespir’s saffron farm (Domain Casanoveas, Maureillas Las Illas) at a Goat Festival in Arles sur Tech. Their passion for farming was completely evident as they explained how they lovingly raise their crocuses. Each stem is hand-picked and carefully dried in an oven to produce wonderful golden saffron which crumbles in your hand and has such rich earthy aromas.
I have been impressed by the difference in the styles and tastes of the vinegars available from the Vallespir vineyards. The latest addition to my collection of single estate vinegars is from Treloar Vineyards, which nestles into the base of Mount Canigou. It is wonderfully sweet yet savoury.