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Llimiana's Saffron

The Books of Estimates were documents that reflected the movable and real estate declared in the Catalan medieval cities. They are a fiscal source, essential for learning about the demography, economy and many other aspects of life in the Middle Ages.

In Llimiana, the Books of Estimates reveal that one of the most important agriculture activities in the municipality was the cultivation of saffron, with production being dedicated, for the most part, to commercialization.

Libro de estimas pag. 65

"...He also has 18 heads of saffron that total, at the price appraised: 216 solidi"

The records speak of heads of saffron in cahíces (measure of capacity that was equivalent to 8 Spanish bushels). In the inventory of the year 1454, the total in the houses of the municipality was 400.5 cahíces of heads of saffron and a list of saffron threads valued at 585 solidi of Barcelona. Sales were regulated by the orders that the Provincial Government issued in 1431 with the intention of avoiding fraud and controlling taxes. These orders refer to the places where the sale should be concentrated, among which were: Tremp, Conques, Balaguer and Vilanova de Meià.

Analysing the records, it appears that the region known as Tierra del Marquesado, mainly in its upper part around Montsec, was a saffron producing centre that was marketed through the Vilanova de Meià market.

Libro de estimas pag. 74

"...He also says that he has strands of old and new saffron that total or were estimated at 585 solidi"

Did you know...

The saffron comes from Asia Minor and there are data that used it 2,000 years B.C?

Did you know...

In Spain it was introduced by the Arabs between the 8th and 10th centuries. From the beginning its main use was culinary, something that spread throughout all Mediterranean countries

Did you know...

Catalonia was the gateway of saffron to the Iberian Peninsula, and it was the first region of Spain that, during the Middle Ages, cultivated and exported the first saffron recognized for its excellent quality

Did you know...

The magnificent properties of saffron make it a versatile spice used in different fields? In addition to gastronomy, saffron is currently used in medicine, cosmetics and perfumery

Did you know...

The saffron have a great source of vitamins that help improve the quality of life? It has been shown to even have beneficial effects in the fight against degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis

Did you know...

To get 1 kg of saffron, do you need about 200,000 flowers? The flower, which lasts only one day, has inspired numerous mythological tales, legends that have been born in the oldest civilizations.

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