Saffron is used and cultivate by humains for more than 3500 years. Originating in Southwest Asia, saffron certainly grew in Persia (Iran) and was found in Southern Europe in antiquity, principally used for medical care. Today it is cultivated mainly in Southern France, Iran, Spain, Italy, Morocco and Greece.
Saffron is by far the most valuable spice in the world today. A kilo of saffron costs (depending on quality) 3000-140 euros.
Each flower has three pistils, which have to be harvest by hand in the morning just after the opening of the flower, others the precious flavors might evaporates and then loose its benefits.
One kilogram of saffron equals at least 150 000 flowers.
Saffron is used in food, especially in rice but also in some dishes like « La bouillabaisse » coming from the coast of Provence.
Although, Saffron is also used for coloring food, which give a more savoury aspect and also for coloring tissues. The pistils, of which each flower has three, must be painstakingly harvested by hand in the morning just after the opening of the flower, otherwise the precious flavor evaporates. For one kilogram of saffron, one needs at least 150,000 flowers or an acreage of approximately 1,000 square meters.
Saffron is known for multiples benefits on our health.
1- Saffron protects against cancer: thanks to the corcus which is responsible for much of saffron’s color.
2- Saffron promotes learning and memory retention: used in the treatments of Parkinson disease, memory loss and inflammation.
3- Saffron protects against cold: with its stimulant tonic it helps to treats fever.
Uses in food:
1- Fish : a wonderful marinade with saffron, garlic and thyme
2- Cakes : gives to pastries a buttery golden hue and a rich aroma
3- Tisane: excellent against colds and cough