Why is Saffron So Expensive?
Saffron is among the most expensive spices in the world even when you compare it to gold (by weight), you will find gold, less expensive. Following saffron, the next some expensive spices include vanilla, green cardamom, cloves and black pepper. Saffron spice has a lot of health benefits and other skin and hair related benefits. It is also used in different colour dyes for fabrics and people use it in different home remedies. Many people in the middle east and Asia believed that saffron is the cure of 100 diseases.
This expensive spice comes from the flower called crocus sativus that is being planted in July, August, and September and the month of harvesting comes at the end of October and at the start of November. The flower blooms only in autumn that has six purple petals, 3 golden yellow coloured stamens, and one red pistil that gives 3 stigmas.
There are a number of questions that people raise with the price tag on saffron; why is saffron expensive? Why do we get a small number of threads with this much money? There are many reasons for the high price of saffron crocus including its growth in hard weather conditions and because each plant has a minimum amount of spice in it.
The major reasons for saffron spice to be expensive are:
Even while knowing the best month of the growth of saffron, it is not easy to grow it. Extreme temperatures are required for its growth, either hot or cold, and the variation in the temperatures affect it badly. The areas with cold winters and warm and dry summers are perfect for growing saffron crocus.
These plants are planted in the dry open field so that they can get most of the sun’s light. When the process of saffron harvesting comes, it takes a lot of physical labour to collect the flowers from the field and then pick up the stigmas i.e. the saffron spice.
Each saffron crocus flower contains only three stigmas. This process is hectic because of what they get is far less than the efforts they put in. The handpicking of thousands of flowers to save the other parts of the plant is not easy at all. A total of 400 flowers are handpicked to collect one gram of saffron and more than 75000 saffron flowers are picked up to produce only one pound of saffron that makes it the most expensive spice in the world. Also, the probability of each flower producing these flavorful long deep red threads is minimal.
Although this spice is expensive, we still use it in many of our daily routines. It is very beneficial in many ways. By adding it in the food, you can have a good taste with fine colouring, by using it on your skin, you will feel the glow within days, by using it for bad health conditions, you will feel the relief and health benefits.
This flower originated and was first cultivated in Greece, and today, most of the saffron is grown in the middle east and Mediterranean Greece, Morocco, Iran, and India. The micro sale of this flower exists in the United States but most saffron found here is imported.
The extremely subtle and fragrant spice is slightly sweet in taste, but it is difficult to describe the exact taste of this spice. However, you can easily recognize it when you taste it in a dish.
When making some food, the best way to get most of its colour and flavour, grind 2 tsp of saffron stigmas with sugar or a pinch of salt to make a powdered mixture as it draws the maximum flavour and colour. Then add ¼ cup of warm water in the mixture and let it cool. This water is the best form of saffron you can use in your cuisines including rice, saffron paella, or on any special occasion desserts.
Keep the saffron threads in a dry and cool space for up to a year and saffron water in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.