PAMPORE Villagers harvest saffron from a field just outside the small town of Pampore in Kashmir. Pampore, 15 miles (25km) south of Srinigar, is famous all over the world for the quality of its saffron.
For most of the year the fields are barren as the bulbs of the crocus sativa germinate beneath the dry earth. But come late autumn, the landscape turns purple.
Kashmir is the only place in India where the world’s most expensive spice grows. Locals are fond of saying that there is a certain magical element in the Pampore soil that helps the flowers to bloom and the stigmas to be imbued with aroma.
Okay so it’s on the other side of Pakistan from Afghanistan, but still!
(Okay, I wrote this post at 12.58 and have been trying to save it since then, so I’m just pasting it into a whole new entry to see if I can get it off this hump it’s on.)