How Saffron works in Cooking

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Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world because it is the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus flower; only 3-4mm long. It takes 70,000 hand picked flowers to make 1 kg of dried saffron.

Saffron threads are added to dishes to enhance flavour, colour and aroma. Saffron has a strong, pungent aroma and flavour with hay-like nuances. The flavour becomes more pungent with cooking but it mellows out considerably with age.

It is used mainly in Mediterranean cuisine but also in Indian and Persian cuisines for rice dishes, stews, soups and sauces as well as in many desserts.

Saffron contains a carotenoid pigment called crocin, which gives saffron its distinctive golden-yellow hue and may cause allergic reactions in some people.

Aromas of saffron come from the volatile oil and terpenes found in the stigma. Saffron’s aroma is often described as floral, or sometimes honey-like, with a delicate scent that can be easily overpowered by stronger flavors such as vanilla or onions. But saffron also has a slightly bitter taste, which comes from carotenoids and polyphenols present in the saffron threads.[1]

Saffron is a very expensive spice because of the difficulty of harvesting and processing the flowers. It takes roughly 150,000 flowers to make one pound (0.45 kg) of dried saffron threads.

Saffron is one of the world’s most expensive spices in the world, for years it was the world’s most expensive spice by weight.

Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, with grades ranging from less than $10 per pound to more than $1,000 per pound.

Saffron has been used in traditional medicine to treat many ailments such as menstrual cramps, hay fever and asthma. It can be made into creams, wines and ointments.

Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus. The taste and smell of saffron is often compared with that of hay, but also can be described as spicy, bitter, metallic, or pungent. Its taste and color are both very distinctive.

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. One pound can cost up to $10,000. Its stigmas are handpicked by female workers in Kashmir, India, then dried and sold to spice traders all over the world.

Takes about 75,000 hand picked stigmas to make a pound of saffron.

It is the red threads that are dried and packaged for sale. The stigmas are the part of the flower from which it gets its color.

Used for thousands of years in Persian, Greek and Indian cuisines as a dye and medicine. Considered a status symbol by some cultures. Considered an aphrodisiac by others.

The stigmata are the red strands that make saffron so expensive. When you harvest the plant, you have to hack off the flower and then smash it to get out the stigmata.

The threads are a kind of ovary, but unlike most flowers, the saffron’s stigma doesn’t fall off naturally. You have to hack it off. And when you do this, you break up the thread and make it impossible to sell as intact strands.

So if you want to get your money back from growing saffron, you have to harvest it by destroying it.

That seems like an awful waste. But if you don’t destroy it, who will? The flower has no value except for its stigmata; there is no other way for a plant to use them. So if we want to eat saffron rice or yellow chicken or whatever else uses saffron, someone has to grow the crops and destroy them in order for us to have what we want. If we didn’t want that, we could just leave the plants alone and let them keep their stigmata for their own purposes. Saffron is valuable precisely because it is hard to get; if it were easy, we would not value it so highly

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