The most precious and most expensive spice in the world: Saffron
The Saffron filaments, or threads, are the dried stigmas of the saffron flower, “Crocus Sativus Linneaus”. Each flower contains only three stigmas. Each thread must be picked from each flower by hand, and more than 75,000 of these flowers are needed to produce just one pound of Saffron filaments, making it the world’s most precious spice. Due to saffron’s excellent ability for coloring and flavoring, it can be used sparingly. Saffron is used both for its bright orange-yellow color and for its strong exotic aroma.
Saffron is called Azafran in Spanish and is a spice that has a special place in history, always being considered very valuable. One of the most precious cooking spices in the world, saffron has a revered place in Spanish cuisine. Gathered from the “saffron rose” or crocus flower, which blooms in late autumn, saffron is a difficult spice to obtain. The flowers are harvested by hand on the day of bloom and dried quickly and preserved in airtight containers.
Originally cultivated in Persia in 1500 b.c., saffron is now grown in France, Italy, Greece, Iran, India and China but over 75% of world’s saffron supply comes from Spain. Saffron from the Castile-La Mancha region in Spain is prized for its exceptional ability to flavor and color. Spanish saffron is associated with the culture and history of the region that is protected and preserved. It has enjoyed a Protected Denomination of Origin since March 17, 2001.