Saffron is one of the most precious spices in the world. It’s derived from a special kind of flower that mostly grows in the northeast of Iran especially Khorasan province. It is believed that it is originated and was first cultivated in Greece, but today the spice is primarily grown in Iran, Greece, Morocco, and India.
As said first, Saffron is an expensive precious spice. But many people still don’t know the reason for its high price or the right way it can be used.
It needs a major effort to collect the stigmas or the threads we know as saffron. Each flower produces only three threads, and it blooms for only one week each year. The flower must be harvested by hand in the mid-morning when they are still closed in order to protect the stigmas inside. It takes about 1,000 flowers to produce just one ounce of saffron. It should have all red stigmas, no yellow stamens and also smell like sweet clover. Then harvesters need to let them get dried. So they can grind it for better usage.
Persian cooks always grind saffron threads with a sugar cube or a pinch of salt to a fine powder to draw out the maximum possible flavor and color. Add 1/4 cup of warm water and let it cool slowly. It’s the most miraculous elixir you can add to your daily meal.
It’s really hard to explain the smell or taste but it gives a pleasant smell and unique color to your food which it is mostly loved for. In Iran, it can be found in any recipe. Mostly when making rice you can make it much more brilliant for your guests if using this gentle spice.
Especially use it in Abgoosht and make a traditional delicate dish.
It contains antioxidants including crocin, picrocrocin, safranal, kaempferol, and crocetin, which help you preventing nervous system disorders like Alzheimer’s, treating depression, improving fertility desire for both women and men, reducing PMS symptoms, and losing weight.
But pay attention that taking more than 1.5 grams each day is dangerous for pregnant women.
So use authentic saffron came from Iran and enjoy your everyday meal.