What’s the saffron?
saffron is a plant that is harvested from the fall-flowering plant. It’s received from the flower of Crocus Linnaeus, known as the saffron. The saffron plant is a member of the Iris or lridaceae family. saffron grows to 20–30 cm and blooms to four flowers. The Flowers are in six beautiful purple petals which in some varieties are in rose color.
Each flower of saffron has three red color stigmas (Threads) and a pistil. The dried threads (red – gold) are used usually medicinally to reduce fevers, cramps and enlarged livers, and to calm nerves as well as used mainly in various foods as a seasoning and coloring agent.
Iranian saffron & History
The saffron is considered one of the world’s most expensive spices. This spice has readable and funny history for us which we are mention briefly for you:
The word saffron derives from the Arab word zafaran. Researchers have shown through historic documents that saffron has its origin in the Zargos mountain range in Iran (over 4000 years), and then progress to hearts worldwide. For a long time Iranian saffron has been good and excellent standing among world people and it also has various consumption. Maybe these are why Iranian saffron has good smell and aroma, organic, special color and rich of high nutrients.
Some common consumption of saffron are including: make delicious foods, drinks and desserts (such as brew tea with saffron, cook saffron rice, saffron Tah – Chin, saffron syrups, saffron cake and etc.), hair and clothes dye and in the recent years saffron is used in the field of medicals consumption including be useful for skin, nervous, heart treat or treat some diseases such as diabetes, stomach aches and etc.
The main difference between Kashmiri and Iranian saffron is that of the yield of Stigmas which is about 75%.The excess yield is due to the fact that the stigmas of saffron cultivated in Kashmir are extremely long and with a thick head. They are also of a deep red color. The size of the stigmas indicates the inherent suitability of the soil and climate for this product.
Thus by just physically observing the saffron its origin can be identified provided it has not been blended with saffron from various origins. The blending is normally done by importers in non producing countries because of the wide disparities in prices: the Iranian saffron is about 1/2 the price of Kashmiri saffron.
High quality saffron produced in Iran is exported in bulk to Spain. Then the imported saffron is mixed and reprocessed with lower grade Spanish (La Mancha) and Portuguese saffron (safflower which is often sold as “assafroa”) before being packaged in beautiful designs. It is then re- exported as La Mancha or Mancha saffron at very higher prices to all parts of the world.
Spain is producing almost 1 ton of saffron annually but is exporting 100 tons per year 20-30 tons of which to the united states alone. How could it be possible?
However, powdered saffron is more prone to adulteration, with turmeric, paprika, and other powders used as diluting fillers.