Iran's precious stigma.
Saffron, which gets its name from the Persian "zapharan" meaning "stigmas", is a spice which comes from 3 stigmas from the Crocus sativus. Originally from the Middle East, it was first grown 4,000 years ago in the Greek provinces.
Considered the most expensive spice in the world, saffron is rare due to the extremely tedious harvesting process and its very low yield. Roughly 150,000 crocus flowers are needed to obtain 1kg of saffron.
Very sought after by gastronomes for its extraordinary flavour and colour, saffron is the crown jewel of the spice kingdom.
Harvesting requires patience and dexterity and is carried out very carefully when the crocus blooms, which only lasts 2 to 3 weeks. Local women delicately hand pick these flowers which only last a day before wilting. Then comes the intricate process of removing the stigmas from the flowers, keeping intact the most aromatic part of the flower, using an extremely precise and age-old technique.
The red stigma of the mauve coloured crocus has surprising aromas of cedar, pepper and flowers, bringing together warmth, intensity and a delicate sweetness. It leaves gourmets spellbound, and is a must-have for any chef in search of a Michelin star...
|Shelf life||5 years|
|Genus and botanical species||Crocus sativus|