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Saffron: global history, Cambridge stories

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This interdisciplinary symposium seeks to explore the history of saffron cultivation and use – both globally and more locally. It is very unusual for a crop that flourishes in Crete, Kashmir and Iran to do well in Britain, but from the late-14th century, Crocus sativus provided a valuable cash crop for smallholders farming in the chalky fields of Cambridgeshire and Essex (centred around Saffron Walden). Some was sent to London but much was sold to Cambridge colleges to flavour and ‘gild’ food, and for hygienic and medicinal purposes. Many college gardens also grew their own crops.

This talk is part of the CRASSH series.

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