When it comes to spices, the price of saffron is the steepest in the world. People hearing about saffron for the first time may wonder why it is so expensive. In fact Saffron is unarguably the most expensive spice you can find on the planet.
It’s usually sold in a few grams or even ounces, just a few red threads of this delicate and exquisite tasting plant make up a few grams. That’s why it’s commonly referred to as “red gold.” When you consider certain factors explained below, it’s not hard to see why this spice costs so much.
Compared to other plants that can grow in several regions, the saffron plant is a very finicky and selective one exclusive to some regions.
The Crocus needs specific climatic conditions such as rain, temperature, and good soil with natural manures to grow easily.
The best quality saffron spice comes from a tiny part of the Crocus stativus flower also known as “saffron.” In addition what makes this spice so special and incredibly valuable is the fact that each saffron crocus only produces three small threads. Each one of these threads must be handpicked due to its delicate nature, for achieving the commercial quantity of dried saffron requires harvesting 80,000 flowers and above.
2-The extraction process
Saffron price isn’t reflective of the rarity of the spice or the difficulty of cultivation because that simply isn’t the case. Crocus sativus are a perennial bulb flower, meaning they multiply and come back year after year, removing the need for yearly sowing. The difficulty comes in the reaping of the stigmas.
The high price of saffron is attributed to a combination of how labor-intensive the harvest is and the acreage needed for growing the plant.
Till date, there is no mechanized way to safely harvest saffron stigmata from the flower. Because the threads themselves are so delicate, every single one of them must be removed gently and tenderly by hand. After removal from the flower, the stigmata are expertly dried quickly to retain their deep red color, unique flavor, and prevent moisture during packaging. The flowers are also small and grow very close to the ground making the entire process labor intensive.
Also the price of saffron is tied to the number of saffron harvested in a certain country and the number of middlemen who handle it before it reaches you.
Connoisseurs of fine living can testify to the unique benefits of saffron spice for cooking, its health benefits, and other uses.
The ancient Iranian and Greeks used it and so did the Chinese and the Romans for perfume, cloth dye, and in medicinal potions.
While saffron is the most expensive spice in the world but it does find its way into several lavish dishes, it can also be incorporated into meals inexpensively.
Saffron is a staple in traditional recipes around the world dishes like paella, bouillabaisse, tagine, risotto Milanese, and biryani. Beyond the use of saffron, there are a couple commonalities in all these dishes. All can be considered “comfort foods” and they are typically budget-friendly recipes prepared as traditional dishes for family and friends.
Yes, the saffron spice price makes it is one of the most expensive substances you can find, but try it in your cooking, and you would have to agree that its taste is well worth the price. Best of all, you need very little, just about 2 or 3 strands to add color and flavor to your entire dish.
Apart from enhancing the features of dishes magnificently, saffron also has many medical uses. It is used as a remedy to cure insomnia and reduce stress. Saffron is also a useful substance when it comes to weight loss, and fitness since it has an appetite receding effect. It is also of great use in the cosmetics and skin care facility as the various masks.
Saffron is such a remarkable spice, now you know it is not expensive and can justify buying it for all those comforting dishes you’ve been hoping to make.