Safflower has been grown for thousands of years as a spice, dye, and medicine. It is thought to have been found in Bronze Age Greece. The plant is known as “saffron crocus” or “autumn crocus.” Crocus sativus is a member of the iris family and produces bright purple petals that are useful to make Saffron. Each flower also produces only a few of the highly sought-after crimson-red stigmas. These are called threads and are picked by hand and then dried.
The flowers are unpredictable and prefer a dry, semiarid climate. They are native to southwest Asia. Saffron is grown in Afghanistan, Greece, Morocco, India, and other countries, but Iran is currently the world’s top producer of spice. In this article, we are going to discuss how to check the quality of Saffron, why Saffron is so expensive and where it is grown mostly.
Why Does Saffron Cost So Much?
Saffron is the most expensive spice you’ll ever find. Simply because harvesting this crop requires a great deal of labor, it can take thousands of flowers to produce one ounce of Saffron. This is due to the reason that each flower only yields three threads. Because the threads are extremely delicate and whisper-thin, they should only be harvested by hand. This is possible very early in the morning to minimize the chance of sun damage.
- You might be thinking of how much is a kg of Saffron, right? A kilogram of real Saffron can cost more than $10,000. This is the reason it costs so much.
- For saffron harvesting, you must pick the flowers with one hand and each thread extracted from the flower with the other hand’s fingers. Then, allow the threads to dry in the sun. You can harvest it by hand without using any machinery.
- If a person works a full-time job on a given day, it’s unlikely that he will be able to obtain more than one gram of Saffron. There is also a very short harvest window for Saffron.
- The fall-flowering plant Crocus sativus only flowers for two or three weeks of the year. Saffron is usually harvested in late October or early November, depending on the region.
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How To Distinguish Real Saffron From Fake?
Saffron is especially expensive, which leads to an abundance of fakes. In an attempt to reduce expenses, some dishonest manufacturers will blend a small quantity of real Saffron with fillers. This includes reddish-colored food coloring-dyed corn silk threads or safflower. A plant that is often grown for cooking oil and sells the mixture as Saffron.
So, how can you distinguish between authentic and fake Saffron?
- Price: It is simply expensive to produce real Saffron. One gram should cost at least $10, and you should be wary of anything significantly less. It’s probably not real if it seems too good to be true. To know the price, you must search for how much is 1 ounce of Saffron beforehand.
- Scent: Real Saffron has a lovely, flowery scent with a hint of sweetness. Over time, the additives in fake Saffron may cause it to smell metallic or tobacco-like.
- Color: Saffron threads are a deep red color with hints of yellow occasionally; if you notice excessive yellow or even white, proceed with caution. According to Salehi, testing the water with a pinch of Saffron in extremely hot water is the best way to find out for sure.
You may not have the real thing if the Saffron quickly loses its color, turning white in the threads or turning red in the water right away. It can take up to ten minutes for genuine Saffron to open up and turn water yellow, while the threads themselves maintain their red shade.
Which Country Is The Most Exporter In The World?
Iran accounts for more than 90% of global saffron production. This makes it the world’s largest producer. The Gonabad area and the province of Khorasan Razavi are on the central Iranian plateau, which has an arid to semiarid climate and they also sell best Iranian saffron rock candy. The continuation of this climate makes it difficult for people to improve their food security and standard of living and has led to a shortage of water. However, they improved their lifestyles with the right use of the water resources.
This is possible with the promotion of high-value products, particularly Saffron. Therefore, farmers and locals get a special chance to improve their standard of living. Because of its exceptional drought resistance, Saffron is a valuable and worthwhile product in the region where water is scarce. In addition to providing about 400,000 people in the area with reliable and lucrative jobs, this encourages farmers to expand their saffron crop.
Thirty-five percent of the city’s total agricultural income comes from saffron farming. This makes it a worthwhile and precious crop.
Why Saffron Is So Valuable in Iran?
In Iran, Saffron holds great symbolic significance. Its springtime blossoms are a representation of beauty and youth. The city of Gonabad became a haven in the middle of the Binalud desert plains. It symbolizes beauty and happiness, freshness and vitality, thanks to the beauty and freshness of saffron blossoms. Foods get a unique flavor from the fragrant, natural flavor and color of Saffron. Moreover, it has a warm sense of humor and is frequently useful as a happy ingredient in Iranian cooking.
It is widely common in many dishes, desserts, cakes, ice creams, drinks, and rice dishes, among other things. Saffron was useful for a very long time to treat heart disease, bloating, stomach ailments, uterine bleeding, insomnia, and coughs and colds. Among the Iranian community, Saffron has always held a particular place in their hearts. Its flavor and aroma evoke memories of traditional Persian cuisine. Plants such as Saffron are useful medicinally and are beneficial in treating a number of illnesses.
The majority of the Iran area’s saffron farms have construction on sloping terrain in the shape of tiny terraces, giving the surroundings an incredible view. The neighborhood around Gonabad has more than 2,000 hectares of saffron farmlands. Saffron, being the most valuable spice, is beneficial for a lot of body conditions.