Interesting Facts About Saffron
Saffron has received several names: “red gold,” “golden flower,” “king of all spices.” It has become the most popular spice in the world, loved by everyone from head chefs at famous restaurants to housewives who use the crocus to add a special flavor to their own dishes. Additionally, saffron is used in traditional and folk medicine, known for its sedative, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. So today, we’ll tell you a little more about this wonderful spice.
What is Saffron?
It is one of the most valuable spices in the world. It has unique taste qualities and a sweet, floral aroma. The rich flavor and aromatic properties of saffron have made it a successful component of various dishes, including pastries, traditional paellas, and meat and fish dishes.
It is one of the most valuable spices in the world. It has unique taste qualities and a sweet, floral aroma. The rich flavor and aromatic properties of saffron have made it a successful component of various dishes — pastries, traditional paellas, meat, and fish dishes.
Saffron has been known to humanity since ancient times. Cleopatra and Alexander the Great loved it: they believed that baths with this spice were beneficial for the body. Macedonian warriors used saffron to treat battle wounds.
The crocus is not only tasty and aromatic but also contains many beneficial substances — vitamins (A, C, PP, and others), minerals, fatty acids, and fiber.
How is the spice obtained?
The well-known spice saffron is the collected stigma of the autumn crocus flower. The stigmas are dried and packed in airtight packages: in this form, they can be stored for several years without losing their aroma.
It is not definitively known which country was the birthplace of saffron. It was cultivated in Ancient Greece (as evidenced by ancient frescoes), India, and Eastern countries. Today, the main exporters of saffron are Italy, Iran, India, Morocco, and Greece.
Why is saffron so expensive?
As we have already mentioned, saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. There is nothing surprising about this. After all, each autumn flower produces no more than 3 stigma at a time. And to produce 1 kilogram of spice, you need to collect more than 200 of these flowers.
Moreover, saffron is harvested only by hand: there are no special mechanisms for this. Harvesting a whole plantation of this plant requires a large number of careful and dedicated workers.
How to use saffron correctly?
When baking or making pastries, saffron is added directly to the dough or at the beginning of cooking. This will give the pastry a refined aroma.
For meat and fish dishes, saffron should be added during cooking or about 5-7 minutes before it is ready. This way, your dishes will not only have a special aroma and taste but also an appetizing golden color.