Can you buy Saffron in the souk?
If you know what you’re doing you can buy saffron for much less than you’ll find at home.
I agree with Tim. Almost all the saffron I see in the souk is low quality and being sold at high prices.
I am spoiled by the high quality Spanish saffron I can get at reasonable prices at home.
I’ve even been disappointed in the saffron sold in Taliouine which is the centre of the crocus growing industry. Without transport and middleman cuts you’d expect the prices to be reasonable, but not so.
Morocco is second largest producer of saffron in the world.Saffron from Talioune is a certified label. How to tell real from fake? Real is deep red, aroma is smoky musk .in water it floats and goes yellow. Any saffron that smells musty dusty and has yellow or white threads is usually mixed with cornsilk. Good saffron will cost anything from 5 to 6 euros a gramme. Less than that you re getting fake. Lots of spice shops sell real saffron; you need good referral from riad or friends
But when you go to saffron centre on the main road through Taliouine they talk about the various grades of saffron. I might be naturally suspicious but to me this sounded like the opportunity to sell essentially the same product at different price points.
The advert above is another suspicious deal, offering 100g of 'pure organic high grade saffron' for €38 (special price instead of €120). If it was €5-6 per gram it would be €500.
I buy saffron in Spain for far less than €5-6 per gram, I'm headed out to Spain next week and if I can remember I'll report back on the price.
Some of the best saffron I ever bought was from last year's Festival du Tapis in Taznakht. A nice chap from a cooperative on the flanks of Siroua had a stall. It cost 35 DH a gramme and I still have some left for the times I make a homemade tangia.
Nearer to Marrakech, you could try Christine at Le Paradis de Safron 3 km from Ourika. Prices will be high as this stuff is ISO graded. You could schedule a visit if you are visiting the Anima gardens that are nearby.
If you only have time for medina shopping, go to Bouchaib, a big artisanal 'department store' near the Saadien tombs. They have little containers of good quality saffron for 90 dh. Can't remember how many grammes though.Edited: 04 August 2018, 23:08