Everything About The ‘Red Gold’ – Saffron Spice
Saffron spice is a luxurious product par excellence: hardly a sauce is more costly than the bulb flower’s useful Saffron threads. Guess why? Because the spice is obtained from the red to purple colored pistils of the saffron crocus, that have to be hand-picked from the calyxes and then dried. Two hundred fifty thousand saffron threads have to be harvested for 1 kilogram of saffron spice. So, let’s dive in to learn more about this healthy spice.
Origin of the Saffron Spice
Saffron spice was founded in the Near East and came from the Lily family. The valuable onion flowers continued their victorious march to Europe from there. In the first century BC, the plant was first developed in Persia and Greece: Saffron threads were thought to be a royal luxury spice, remedy, and dye. Also, in ancient Rome, the spice was spread on the streets in a triumphal parade as a prosperity sign. In Afghanistan, Iran, Kashmir, and the Mediterranean, the bulb flower is now grown in Austria and Switzerland.
How Does the Plant Grow?
The plant does not develop everywhere as saffron flowers need specific climatic conditions for good growth. It is therefore primarily cultivated in northeastern Iran. The plateaus offer ideal temperature and humidity conditions. Saffron flowers are also produced in Europe, such as Spain, France, and Switzerland. In contrast, however, these growing areas are much less critical. At the same time, nearly 90% of the saffron sold worldwide is from Iran.
Good Saffron Threads
A few characteristics will distinguish strong saffron spice. The best scenario is a question of tiny red threads with less than 10 percent yellow portion. Since only the red part has the coloring and seasoning power, a significant proportion of yellow reveals poor quality. There’s a lot of falsification since saffron flowers are too pricey. Turmeric, especially ground threads, is commonly used, which is much cheaper to purchase.
Use of Saffron Threads
The saffron spice is trendy because of its culinary properties: the tart, slightly bitter to spicy aroma of the saffron threads gives dishes a unique taste and gives them a pretty yellow color.
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Whether spicy in light sauces, bouillons, hearty rice, fish and meat dishes, or sweet in pastries and baked goods, the saffron spice’s uses are almost unlimited.
How Is The Luxury Spice Processed?
As mentioned above, the processing of saffron is laborious manual work. It is then processed in various ways based on the quality of the saffron. Saffron “Sargol” and “Coupe” quality threads color the most when the flower stigmas are carefully stripped from the white flower stem. “Mancha” or “Pooshali” quality saffron threads are typically offered in limited doses.
Saffron spice is correctly referred to as a luxurious spice. The tedious harvest and unique aroma justify the high price. But the purchase is also worthwhile if you rely on good quality and pay a bit extra. Only a limited quantity of this incredible spice enriches both sweet and spicy food.