Saffron: The Most Expensive Ingredient in the World: A blog about what saffron is, how it’s used, and where it’s sourced.

You are currently viewing Saffron: The Most Expensive Ingredient in the World: A blog about what saffron is, how it’s used, and where it’s sourced.

Saffron is the most expensive ingredient in the world. The red threads are hand-picked from around 80,000 crocus flowers over the course of a few weeks in October and November. A pound of saffron retails for about $4,000, which makes it about four times more expensive than gold or platinum.

Before we go further, let’s clarify something: saffron is not really an ingredient—it’s an additive. It is used to add color and flavor to food products. Nothing would be saffron rice without the spice, and saffron’s distinctive aroma and taste make it perfect for desserts and liqueurs.

You might think that such a rare and valuable crop would be grown in some kind of special environment, but that’s not the case at all. Saffron is a domesticated plant grown on a commercial scale only in Iran—and nowhere else on Earth. In fact, most of the Iranian harvest goes right back into the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean diet: it appears in breads, pastries, sweets, and rice dishes. That’s because saffron pairs well with sweet flavors like honey and sugar; it also works well with meaty notes from lamb or duck. It’s even added to some

Saffron is the most expensive ingredient in the world with the average pound of saffron costing $10,000. This makes saffron more expensive than gold, silver, or platinum. It is therefore no surprise that saffron has been called “red gold.”

Usefulness:The Uses and Benefits of Saffron

It was used in ancient Greece and Rome as a dye for clothing and for makeup. It was also used to perfume bath water and cooking oil.

Saffron’s high cost stems from its labor-intensive harvesting process. Each crocus flower must be handpicked in order to obtain the three stigmas. One pound of saffron requires 75,000 flowers! That’s a lot of labor!

Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice. It’s used in everything from rice to fish, sweet dishes to desserts, and even in toothpaste (it’s used as a dye). But it’s not just the most expensive spice – it’s also the most expensive foodstuff in the world.

The reason for this is simple: saffron comes from a flower – the saffron crocus – and only three stigmas are needed to make one pound of spice. That means it takes a lot of work to get a little saffron, and that explains why it costs so much.

Saffron comes from Iran and Greece, although Spain and India are trying hard to get into the game. The threads are dried by being placed on racks in the sun, which is why you’ll often find Iranian saffron being sold in sealed packets.

Saffron is known as the most expensive spice in the world. This is because the saffron crocus flowers only for a few weeks in autumn, and only in specific areas around the world. The stigmas must be hand-picked and dried, which makes each harvest unique and labor intensive. It’s also one of the most popular spices in Iranian, European and Arabic cuisines.

Lately, Iranian saffron has been enjoying a rise in popularity on Western markets. It’s even been called “the new black truffle” by some foodies, who are clamoring for its earthy, distinct flavor.

Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus. Saffron’s taste and iolour has made it one of the most expensive ingredients in the world, surpassing diamonds, caviar and rubies. The flavour and fragrance of saffron is due to a substance called crocin.


The taste of saffron is bitter at first, but ends in a pleasant sweetness. This attribute makes saffron suitable for desserts as well as main dishes. Just a small amount of saffron is needed to flavour rice, risotto or paella, or to give an incredible aroma to cakes such as bûche de Noël or gingerbread men, and a little goes a long way—a box of saffron can last for up to 1 year.*

Flavour and fragrance

Saffron’s colour and flavour comes from a chemical known as crocin, which imparts a vivid crimson-yellow colouring. The strong scent makes it useful in cooking and also as an ingredient in perfumes. It has been used this way since ancient times.


Saffron should be stored in an airtight container so that it doesn’t get exposed to moisture or light. It keeps

Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus and is among the most expensive in the world. It takes approximately 150,000 hand-picked flowers to make one pound of saffron. In addition, each flower yields only three tiny stigmas and it takes approximately 75,000 of these little strands to be equal in weight to one gram of saffron. Since 75,000 strands would translate into a pile of less than a tenth of an inch high, it is easy to see why this particular herb has always been so prized.

The use of saffron spans well over 4,000 years. Ancient Greeks and Romans used it as a dye, an aphrodisiac, and as a flavoring agent for their wines. The Persians used it regularly in their foods as did people living in India and China. Saffron was also commonly found in many recipes that came out of medieval Europe where it was used as a seasoning for meat dishes, soups and broths.

The saffron crocus is the most labor-intensive agricultural product in the world. The plants must be hand-planted, and then individually harvested. This can happen only on sunny days for one week each year. During that time, workers must check every hour to see if the stigmas have been picked. If a flower is left unharvested, it will die and not produce more saffron stigmas. And this goes on for weeks—the flowers will eventually wither away to brown stubs if left unchecked.

Totting these numbers up, we find that a pound of saffron requires 4,750 hand-plants, 52 hours of labor to harvest, and an additional 50 hours of labor to remove the red stigmas from the plant and pack them into packages. That’s 3.2 man-hours per gram of saffron.

So why do people pay so much money for saffron? In large part it’s because they’re paying for a lot of labor and risk: A pound of saffron sells for nearly $14,000 at wholesale prices, or $20 per gram retail. Saffron is not just one of the most expensive spices in the world—it’s one

Leave a Reply