In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.

Home  /  See and do  /  Gastronomy  /  Traditional products  /  Kozani Crocus

Kozani Crocus

The ”flower” of the Mediterranean cuisine

“Krokos Kozanis”: the affordable “red gold”

The Kozani Crocus (exported all over the world under the name “Krokos Kozanis”) grows from a small rounded bulb which is planted in late summer or early fall and produces small purple flowers, with three red-gold stigma strands in each flower. Saffron spice is made from these dried strands.

The product owes its beneficiary properties to the particular soil and climatic conditions of this area (well-tended fields, loads of light, drained soil of medium fertility with a warm temperate climate) as well as to the cultivation techniques and traditional practices followed by the area's crocus growers.

Kozani Crocus © Moustafellou

The word “crocus”

The world has its origin in Greek mythology. Krókos was a dear friend of god Mercury (Hermes) in Ancient Greece. One day, while the two friends were throwing the disc to each other like a frisby, Mercury hit Krókos on the head and wounded him fatally. As the young man collapsed and while dying three drops from his blood fell on the centre of a flower thus becoming the three stigmata of the flower named after him. Etymologically, the word crocus derives from the Greek word “króki” = “κρόκη”, which means weft, the thread used for weaving on a loom.

Did you know that? Use Krokos Kozanis as a spice for culinary purposes and you’ll adore its distinctive aroma, unique taste and beautiful golden colour. Nowadays, it is used in distilleries, dairy products and in numerous other applications. Its colouring power, verified by laboratory reports, is by 45 points higher than the minimum international colouring standard for all types of saffron.


Where you can find it and how to use it

You will be amazed by the innumerable benefits of crocus. Just get ready to use it for new culinary adventures! Infuse a few threads in a cup of water, but remember that crocus dislikes hot temperatures and it will refrain from letting you its colour and aroma if sunk into hot water.

Cook with red Greek crocus and indulge in its excellent flavour. But bear in mind that, unlike other spices, a good pinch is more than enough for adding flavour and colour to most dishes.

Crocus is available in the market both in threads and in powder. People tend to prefer threads, as they keep aroma and colour for much longer. Besides, you can easily crush the threads into powder.

When used sparingly, quality crocus adds rich golden colour and flavour to foods. There is a long list of foods where you can use it, ranging from cheese products such as cottage cheese and parmesan, to soups, chicken and meat, various spirits, pasta and rice.

The world’s most unique and precious spice!

Since ancient times, crocus has been renowned for its aroma and vibrant colour, but mostly for its pharmaceutical and aphrodisiac properties. Homer referred to it in his writings, while Cleopatra used it in her cosmetics. Try to include crocus in your daily life and you’ll be amazed by the myriad benefits you’ll gain:

• Firstly, crocus in general is an excellent stimulant. The healing properties of the plant are also countless! Its highly anti-inflammatory and its profound antioxidant properties have been proved true for long.

• Furthermore, crocus prevents platelet aggregation and improves cerebral function.

• Other properties of crocus enable lowering cholesterol, improving digestion, preventing nausea and soothing infant teething while its cancer preventive properties are being researched.

An original recipe with Crocus Kozanis

Let yourself indulge in the mystery of the Greek red crocus! Just add a small quantity of crocus to your coffee or tea and give your body an excellent beverage full of healthy elements, or treat your...
Harvesting the crocus

Be part of a miracle! Although the ancient Minoans were known to cultivate saffron during Late Bronze Age Crete, its cultivation disappeared from Greece until the 17th C. when Greek Macedonian...

explore Greece by region is the official tourism web site for Greece, run by the Greek National Tourism Organisation, where you'll find information on the main tourist destinations, such as cities, beaches, as well as activities, events and much more!

All content included on this site consists intellectual property of GNTO and you are not allowed to reproduce the whole or part of this work in any way. 
For information please contact: All Rights Reserved. GNTO © 2020.