Section: What is saffron?

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Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus.” It takes 70,000 flowers to produce 1 kilogram of saffron threads. This makes it a particularly costly spice by weight and thus especially expensive in certain dishes.

Taste and aroma are distinct from each other. Saffron has a bitter taste, but imparts a rich golden-yellow color and distinctive aroma to foods.[1] Saffron also gives food a metallic taste that some people dislike, but others find that it makes dishes more savory; many recipes advise against using saffron in dishes whose flavors should be “subtle” or “mild.”

Saffron has been used for thousands of years in various cultures for medical purposes such as treatment of depression, cough, fever, colic and menstrual symptoms.[2][3][4]

Saffron contains chemicals which have antioxidant properties and may also have anticancer properties.[5] Saffron is used in cooking to give a distinctive flavor and intense yellow-orange color.[6]

Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, a bright yellow autumn-flowering plant. Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice by weight, and is native to Southwest Asia. The taste and aroma of saffron are peculiar, resembling nothing so much as dried hay, but there is no mistaking its unique color. That color is golden; but while gold can be made to look orange or green or blue, only saffron retains its true yellow hue. It seems somehow fitting that an ingredient with such a strange flavor should have such a subtle color.

The use of saffron in cooking predates recorded history. The ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome both used it extensively; today Greeks still call their version of curry “saffron rice.” By medieval times it was well known throughout Europe; Chaucer mentions it in The Canterbury Tales, and it was a key ingredient in Medieval English sauces for venison, chicken, and fish.

It has always been rare; it takes thousands of crocuses to make even a pound of saffron. Remarkably, all those flowers together yield less than one pound (500 g) of dried saffron threads—and those threads are the only parts

Saffron is a spice that has been used for over 4000 years and comes from the purple stigmas of a type of crocus flower. When dried it is known as saffron spice which is a culinary term for the spice. It is most commonly used in various dishes such as in rice and sauces. There are also some medicinal uses for saffron.

Saffron is a spice grown from the flower of Crocus sativus. The spice is used in small amounts to flavour food and drink, and also in large amounts to make medicine.

The saffron crocus grows best in loose, dry, sandy soil. It has long purple stigmas (the part of a flower that receives pollen) and deep red petals. These are picked by hand and dried quickly so they will not rot.

Six of the stigmas yield one gram of dried saffron threads or strands. These strands are sorted according to length and quality, then packed and sold.

The best saffron comes from Spain, Iran and Kashmir.

Saffron is used as a food colouring, seasoning and perfume ingredient; as a medicinal herb; and as a remedy for colds, menstrual problems, asthma, hay fever and other ailments.”

Saffron is a spice that comes from a flower of the same name. The two main species that are cultivated are the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus) and autumn crocus (C. odoratus). These flowers have three stigmas, which are the distal end of the carpel and are pale red to deep crimson in color, depending on the type. The styles and stigmas, dried, are used mainly as a seasoning and dye. Saffron, like other spices, is a flavour with a bitter taste; it has been described as warm, bitter, sweet, astringent, and pungent.

The intense yellow-red colour of saffron is caused by the presence of carotenoid pigments. Saffron also contains about 150 volatile and aroma-yielding compounds. It bears some physiological effects in animals; for example, it is used as a nerve tonic in traditional Indian medicine.

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, more costly than either vanilla or cinnamon. Its exoticism has made it an indispensable flavor and colorant, used in everything from cakes to liquor to scarves. Its strong aroma and taste have made it useful in perfumes, as a sort of natural bouquet.

Cultivation of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus) is challenging, both because the flowers are delicate and because they must be picked by hand. Because of this expense, imitations and substitutes have been used often—including an extract made from marigold petals, which gives an approximation of saffron’s taste but not its color or aroma.

Strictly speaking, true saffron is the dried stigmas of the flower. The styles that emerge from the center of each flower are orange-red with yellow bases; dried and powdered, they are deep red with a slight golden tinge.

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world and one of the most expensive products of any kind. It is made from the dried reddish purple stigmas of a particular species of crocus, which is hand-plucked on an annual basis. Its flavor is bitter and has a metallic tinge to it.

Saffron has been used as a medicine since antiquity and was also important as a dyestuff until the invention of aniline dyes in the nineteenth century.

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