Don’t Get Ripped Off when buying Saffron

Check out this little video, it may well save you a bundle.

By far the most expensive spice is the world at around $6 – $15 a gram making this worth more than gold in weight. This video is in reply to several emails we have had about cheap saffron. Well let us tell you right now there is no such thing.

Made from the dried, deeply colored, reddish-orange filaments from the saffron crocus flower (Crocus sativus). It takes up to 75,000 of these hand-picked filaments to produce one pound of saffron. Moreover, the filaments must be harvested must be between dawn and 10am, since the stigmas lose colour and aroma if left too long in the plant.

Even though saffron is grown and harvested in many areas all over the world, what makes it special, as well as the most expensive spice in the world, is the difficulty involved in harvesting it. Each flower has 3 stigmas and once acre (that’s about 80.000 flowers) are needed to obtain 1 pound of this expensive spice. 14.000 threads equals 1 ounce of saffron.

Safflower also known as “Bastard Saffron” is very similar in terms that it is also a a flower, but has not got the same colouring affect, taste and aroma. It can of course and is used in cooking, so it is fine to use. This video shows 25g at $2 so much cheaper.

Don’t be ripped off, buy saffron well from a good dealer. Spanish and Iranian score high.

Fortunately, a little saffron goes a long way. Saffron has been coveted throughout history—not only as a spice, but as a dye, a perfume, and a medicine—and remains one of the culinary world’s most precious commodities. At once floral and pleasantly bitter, saffron is reminiscent of tobacco, hay, and cedar, with nuances of pepper, citrus seed, and menthol.

This elusive flavor is best coaxed out by briefly toasting the threads in a skillet, after which cooks often crumble it directly into the pot or use it to infuse a stock or wine. Well worth the expense, saffron brings unparalleled flavor to a wide variety of dishes, from Swedish pastries to Iranian Kebabs and Indian stews.