Nov 3, 2019, 11:38 AM
Journalist ID: 1006
News Code: 83539696
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Saffron farms on northeast Iran; a new destination for agri-tourism
Saffron farms in North East Iran; Agri Tourism destination

Gonabad, Nov 3, IRNA – Iranian Saffron known as the “red gold”, saffron is a magical ingredient in Persian culture, from aromatic foods and colorful desserts, to the physical and spiritual medicine. The expensive spice has long been a high-demand commodity.

Today, agritourism is regarded as a stimulus to the imbalanced economy of agriculture sectors and tendency for emotional and nostalgic roots of the modern world citizens and due to factors such as visit or participation in farm activities, direct purchase of products, spending a night at a farm, curiosity and learning about the farm and agriculture products has been able to create a wide target population.

South Khorasan and Khorasan Razavi provinces in North East Iran with great agricultural potential in products such as barberry, pomegranate, and especially saffron and capabilities of different types of tourism such as Eco-Tourism, astronomy, geo-tourism and nomadic can be determine a certain space in agritourism.

Khorasan Razavi and South Khorasan province provinces in North East Iran nowadays is the land of soft gold. It's in these beautiful and preserved natural landscapes that, each fall, during only six weeks, the fields are covered with a blanket of small and delicate purple flowers: the saffron crocus.

Between its petals can be found the world's most expensive spice, saffron. With this experience, you're invited to participate in the unique event of harvesting, along with local farmers.

Known as the "Red gold" All over the world, saffron is recognized for its attributes and rarity, associated with the east lands of Iran. What few people truly know is the intricacy of its harvest. This experience offers an initiation to this precise work while discovering the authentic rural life of Iran.

Every year, the saffron harvest season begins in early November. While most other vegetation are gone, the bright purple flowers cover the fields and create an outstanding landscape in dry regions in Iran. Major saffron producers of Iran are located in the east side of the country. If you would like to see the biggest market, head to Mashhad, which is also known for its religious importance.

But if you are more curious about where saffron comes from, remember the cities of Gonabad, Torbat Heydariyeh, Taybad, Khaf, and Qaen. All of these cities are located in Khorasan region and their harvest season begin around November 1st, lasts about two, at most three weeks.

Saffron has long been used as a special seasoning in Iranian kitchens. A thin layer of saffron mixed rice on top of the white pile of rice and barberries, next to aroma and color of chicken kebab (joojeh kabab), all promise a welcoming hospitality.

Iranians appreciate saffron and use it moderately, they believe that overuse of saffron can harm their mental health. They enjoy it in the flavorful saffron ice cream (Bastani Sonnati) in hot days of summer, or serve it in bowls of sweet rice pudding (Sholeh Zard) in religious ceremonies.

Some people also make a refreshing herbal tea out of it, along with rose petal.

**** European tourists visited saffron farms in Khaf city

A group of European tourists from France and Switzerland visited Saffron Farms and historical attractions of Khaf city in southern Khorasan Razavi province.

The head of the department of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts of Khaf county told IRNA that at the time of saffron harvesting, European tourists, in addition to visiting the saffron cultivation grounds, symbolically cleared the saffron flowers.

Mahmoud Ba Aghideh said that they visited the tourist attractions of the city such as "Ghiasiyyah School, Malek Zuzan Mosque, Sangan Historical Complex, Hafez Ebro Cemetery and Crafts Workshops.

The city of Khaf is about 267 Kilometers far from Mashhad and 123 kilometers from the border with Afghanistan.

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