Explore the ancient flavors that shaped Mediterranean cuisine as we know it today, with Zafarano as your guide. We find Signor Zafarano in the port of Venice, the capital of Italian commerce in the late 13th century. Tales of exotic materials, precious metals and incredible riches can be heard on every canal, but none is more intriguing than the story of a delicate spice rumored to be worth its weight in gold.
Our quest to find the source of za'farān, as it was known at the time, will take us to the great capitals of the ancient world. From Venice in Renaissance Italy, through Constantinople in the Byzantine Empire and over the Himalaya Mountains into the Steppes of the great Mongol Empire. It is in the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains, however, where we will get our first taste of success: the world's best saffron, cultivated in the fertile Hari River valley.