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Harvesting the Saffron of Provence in Cotignac

Jean Leclerq and his partner Sabine are a dedicated couple who own a special place hidden in the hills behind our little village of Cotignac.  They have started our first “Safranière,” a small Saffron farm growing the most valuable spice on earth.  We were lucky enough to join them one misty autumn morning to help them harvest and learn more about this amazing flower with the red golden stigmas that are so precious to so many cultures.

Continue reading here for details on this precious spice that will soon be available for sale in the Mirabeau Wine boutique. Jeanny promises to share some recipes with saffron in the future, but here are posts on this precious and versatile spice.

More on saffron in Provence:

Understanding the Cost of Saffron

Recipe for Marseille Classic Bouillabaisse

Farm Visit: Understanding Saffron in Provence

Zucchini and Shrimp Fritters, Saffron Mayonnaise

Sweet Orange Crêpes Provençal with Saffron

Mussels, Saffron and Leek Soup by Cook’n with Class

Savoury Recipes with Saffron

Shrimp Curry with Saffron and Coconut
The following was minimally adapted from the recipe by chef Vikram Vij. This curry is full of flavour but mild when it comes to heat. Once you start cooking, you can have the savoury saffron shrimp on the table in under 30-minutes.
Check out this recipe
Coconut Saffron Shrimp Curry
Sea Bass Poached in Tomato-Saffron Broth
Fresh sea bass poached in a delicious shrimp and saffron broth.
Check out this recipe
Poached Sea Bass saffron tomato broth
Cauliflower Saffron Soup    
This creamy soup is easy to make as a savoury starter dish. The silky texture comes from the butter.
Check out this recipe
Cocoa and Lavender Cauliflower saffron soup
Ragoût of Fennel and Langoustines with Saffron
This recipe seems complex, but it is actually quite easy. The "boxes' of puff pastry are easy enough to make (details below).
Check out this recipe
fennel Langoustine Ragoût
Zucchini and Shrimp Fritters, Saffron Mayonnaise
Crispy fried zucchini and shrimp fritters topped with a fresh and creamy saffron mayonnaise.
Check out this recipe
Shrimp Appetizer zucchini fritters @CocoaandLavender

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Maison Mirabeau Wine

Maison Mirabeau Wine

Stephen had been in the corporate world for 15 years and in August 2008 turned down a promotion that would have meant more money but also more stress, longer hours and less time with his young family. For many years the Cronks had been dreaming and talking about moving to France to make their own wine, but the moment never seemed quite right to make the big leap.

Soon after, a good redundancy offer seemed the perfect opportunity to turn the dream into reality and after selling their beloved house, they left the leafy suburbs of south-west London in August 2009. Their worldly possessions were packed up on the back of a truck and with barely a word of French between them, the family headed south to a small village called Cotignac, in the heart of Provence.

The Cronks spent a year getting their bearings, learning to live the provençal way, as Stephen was criss-crossing the country researching and finding the best vineyards to work with. The next step was setting up a small wine business with the principle objective of making a Provence rosé that would be regarded as one of the very best from the region, while building a brand that people would grow to love. In order to achieve this aim, they put together a highly experienced winemaking team and threw their heart and soul into the brand and innovative communications with their customers. Mirabeau is now being sold in more than 30 markets, has won medals and earned acclaim from some of the world’s toughest wine critics, but what really makes Stephen happiest is that their wines are an integral part of people having a great time together.

Read more about the Mirabeau Wine story here.


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    October 17, 2017 at 1:40 pm — Reply

    Anything with saffron is perfect in my book!

    • blank
      October 18, 2017 at 12:13 am — Reply

      Hi David, we could not agree more. Saffron is a wonderful spice.

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