Saffron is an ancient spice that, in many countries, is used in a variety of dishes. There are many ways to enjoy saffron and its unique taste, from simply adding it to recipes for baked fish or paella, to taking it as a tea. Saffron has been prized for centuries for its ability to add flavor and color to foods, but it is also used in many other capacities. For example, it is sometimes added to water during bathing for its relaxing effect.
Saffron can be purchased in several forms. It can be found as threads or powder at most grocery stores, as well as online at sites such as Amazon.com. The threads are the more traditional form of the spice, although saffron powder is easier to use because it dissolves more easily into food and drink. Saffron powder is often considered better quality than the thread version because it tends not to lose potency as quickly when stored.*
Saffron is the yellow stigmas of a small purple flower, Crocus Sativus. A little world of color, taste and aroma. Learn about saffron’s history, its cultivation and harvesting, its uses in different cultures.The name comes from Persian za’feran (yellow), also the origin of the word safran or saffron in French, Italian, Romanian, Russian and Spanish; Arabic za’farān; Greek krokos; Latin crocus; and modern Hebrew tsafrón. Saffron has been cultivated since antiquity.
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of a small, purple flower that blooms for just a few weeks during fall. It is used in many different forms, from saffron threads to saffron powder and more. The price of saffron can vary greatly depending on what form it is taken in.
Saffron comes in many forms, each with their own names that are easy to confuse. Saffron threads are what most people recognize as saffron since they are the most popular form of saffron and commonly available in grocery stores. Saffron threads are actually the dried stigmas of the flower and therefore contain the most flavor and aroma of any form. They are also the most expensive form of saffron by weight.
When purchasing saffron make sure you know what you are getting. You do not want to buy ground or powdered saffron since they do not contain nearly as much flavor or aroma and will not provide the same quality taste. You also want to make sure you see “Crocus sativus” listed as an ingredient so you know your product is genuine and pure.*
In comparison to other herbs and spices, saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world. A pound of saffron generally costs around $1500 depending on the quality of the saffron. If you go to a quality grocery store, you will find that a small bottle of saffron can cost you around $40 or a little more.
Thing is, it is not only used for culinary purposes but also for medicinal and cosmetic purposes as well. It has been used since ancient times, which means that its uses are well documented in historical texts and texts written by people who have first hand knowledge of this spice. It is mentioned in old Greek and Roman literature as being one of the most precious commodities in the world circa 500 BC.
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. It is an extremely labor-intensive crop to harvest and process, which is why the price for this little crocus stigma (kerigma in Greek) has been known to reach $4,000 per pound. A great deal of saffron’s expense comes from its laborious harvesting process where only three purple stigmas are harvested from each flower.
Lately, a lot has been written about the fake saffron flooding the market. But that’s not all that’s wrong with saffron—there is no standardization in its production or labeling, making it a difficult ingredient to work with.
The main thing to remember when cooking with saffron is that it’s not just a colorant—it imparts a distinct flavor as well. This makes it an ingredient you either love or hate—there is no middle ground. If you’re not sure if you like saffron, try starting with 1/8 teaspoon and adding more as needed. The best advice I was ever given by my spice purveyor was “Don’t buy too much—try it first.”
Saffron is a spice that is rising to the top of the ranks in terms of culinary uses. It has been used for thousands of years and is known for its unique coloring aspect, as well as its flavor. Perhaps you have heard of saffron or are interested in using it in your cooking. Whatever the case, we invite you to join us here at our blog as we explore the world of saffron.
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower blooms of a saffron crocus. This flower can be found growing mainly in Greece, India, Iran and other countries throughout Asia Minor. Crocuses are usually purple or lavender in color, but when these flowers bloom, they produce four red stigmas which are then dried out to create saffron spice. Presently, most saffron on the market comes from Iran’s Pasargadae region, which is located near Shiraz.
Though this spice may have been used by ancient Greeks and Romans back in 200 B.C., it was not until around 1500 A.D. that it gained popularity throughout Europe as a food coloring agent and fragrance enhancer for gourmet dishes and perfumes. During this time period, the spice was so valuable that it
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. It is mainly grown in Iran and India, and mostly used in Europe, India and the Middle East, which makes it a very profitable crop.
The price of saffron is determined by its yield. While an average-sized saffron plant yields about 70 red stigmas, it takes approximately 150 flowers to produce a pound of dried saffron threads. Most of this value comes from a few red stigmas, which are handpicked and dried by hand. After being picked and cleaned, each flower becomes about two grams of dry saffron threads, which are then stored for future use.
Saffron’s aroma is described as earthy, spicy and sweet; its taste has variously been described as bitter with a metallic aftertaste or hot and spicy with a metallic aftertaste. Saffron pairs well with meat such as chicken and lamb, as well as with fish such as tuna and cod.