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每日跟讀#730: Laborious saffron harvest unites poor Moroccan village

摩洛哥山中貧村 齊力收成香料女王番紅花

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日跟讀#730: Laborious saffron harvest unites poor Moroccan village

A 10-year-old boy calls for the dawn prayer in an isolated village in Morocco’s Atlas mountains, announcing a laborious day racing against the clock to harvest fields that produce the most expensive spice on earth: saffron.

在摩洛哥阿特拉斯山脈裡面一座與世隔絕的村落中,一名十歲的男孩高聲呼喚眾人進行晨禱,同時宣告辛苦的一日即將開始,眾人要和時間賽跑,到田裡收成世界最昂貴的香料:番紅花。

It’s mainly older women who respond to his call, making their way out of Askaoun village before the sun rises and into fields of purple saffron flowers whose crimson stigmas will become aromatic orange saffron sold around the world. Though the women’s bent backs ache and their hands are blistered by the morning cold, they sing and chat as they pick the flower.

回應男孩宣禮的主要是年長女性,她們在日出前離開阿斯卡奧村,終於抵達開滿紫色番紅花朵的田裡。花朵中央緋紅色的雌蕊柱頭會變成芳香的橘紅色番紅花,販售到世界各地。儘管彎下的背隱隱作痛,雙手因為早晨的寒冷長出水泡,這些女性仍然一邊摘花一邊唱歌聊天。

Morocco is among the world’s top five saffron producers. The saffron plants bloom for only two weeks a year and the flowers, each containing three crimson stigmas, become useless if they blossom.

摩洛哥是世界上前五大的番紅花生產國。番紅花植株一年花期只有兩星期,每一朵花含有三根緋紅色的柱頭,一旦花朵全開,一切就付諸流水。

Every step is done by hand, and if stigmas aren’t picked out and dried within a few hours of harvesting, their quality drops drastically. Few crops can thrive in the arid soil of the lower Atlas range, so the village depends solely on saffron to survive.

採收的每一個步驟都是手工進行。如果沒有在收成的幾個小時內挑出柱頭並進行乾燥,品質就會大幅降低。在阿特拉斯山脈低海拔區域的乾旱土壤中,沒有多少作物能夠茂盛生長,所以整座村落僅能仰賴番紅花為生。

The harvesters see only a fraction of the money consumers spend for the spice, however.

“The women are simply not aware of the real value of saffron,” says Rachida Baha, president of Tamghart Al Filahya cooperative, which focuses on helping women saffron farmers. “For years, the women worked for free. Many still do.”

只不過,消費者為這種香料付出的金錢,只有一小部分進入到收成者的口袋中。

致力於協助女性番紅花農的Tamghart Al Filahya合作社主席 Rachida Baha指出:「這些女性單純沒有意識到番紅花的真正價值。」「多年來,這些女性無償工作,很多人到現在還是如此。」

Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2019/11/16/2003725906

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