Saffron is a spice that is obtained from a herbaceous perennial plant of the iris family. Another name for the culture that makes the spice seasoning is Crocus. This plant has lovely lilac flowers, the fragrance of which is without exaggeration charming. And the spice itself is considered noble. Its price is high. The benefits of this seasoning are legendary. And the taste and aroma can decorate almost any dish. What kind of spice is this-saffron —we will try to understand in this article.
Let’s start with the origin of the well-known, but inaccessible spice.
- 1 Let’s start with the origin of the well-known, but inaccessible spice.
- 2 What is saffron made from
- 3 Why saffron is the most expensive condiment
- 4 Saffron: health benefits and harms
- 5 Use of saffron
- 6 Saffron: the use of
The homeland of saffron can be called countries with a very hot climate. It is heat and a lot of sun that crocuses need to grow. So, saffron is grown on plantations in Greece, Pakistan, and Portugal.
The production of this spice is very developed in India, Iraq, and Spain. These countries provide almost 80% of the supply spices across the world. The plant is also successfully grown in Japan, China, Crimea, and Transcaucasia.
Wild species of saffron can be found all over the world. However, mostly cooks and folk healers are just interested in the spice produced from cultivated plant species.
The most common and valuable types:
- Kashmiri (made in India);
- Iranian saffron.
Spain produces the most expensive saffron. Iranian seasoning belongs to a cheaper category. Spices imported from India usually have an average or very expensive price tag. The cost of seasoning is determined by the varieties, principles of processing and selection of raw materials. But in any case, saffron is a noble, very fragrant, pleasant-tasting spice.
What is saffron made from
As mentioned earlier, saffron is a spice that is made from a cultivated plant called “Crocus”. If we take into account the details, then the production of saffron requires the stigmas of the plant. The seasoning is created from a specific part of these stigmas. Assemble and separate these parts manually.
The stigmas are first dried, then crushed. Each manufacturer uses its own technologies for the production of seasoning. But the output is a spice that looks like thin dried strings (veins) of a rich red or brownish-brown color, sometimes with yellowish streaks. The final shade depends on the variety of the cultivated plant from which the seasoning is produced.
Why saffron is the most expensive condiment
This spice is really very expensive! For example, Spanish saffron has a price of about 15-20 thousand dollars per kilogram. The cost of Kashmir saffron reaches 30 thousand dollars. Iranian saffron costs about 400-500 dollars per kilogram. And this is almost the lowest price for this spice.
“Where are these prices coming from?” you may ask. The thing is that this spice is collected almost manually. Machine Assembly technologies are not suitable due to the fragility of the assembled material and the value of preserving its integrity. And from one hectare they get only ten kilograms of ready-made spice. It is difficult not to agree that this is a very expensive and time-consuming production. This also includes the benefits and nutritional qualities of the seasoning. The spice is unique. That’s where this seemingly exorbitant price comes from.
Saffron: health benefits and harms
To understand how useful a spice is, you should consider its composition and nutritional value.
The stigmas of the Crocus plant contain a huge amount of useful substances. This is why saffron is valued.
The composition of the seasoning includes:
- B vitamins, C, A Vitamins, PP;
- zinc, calcium, magnesium, sodium, fluorine, potassium and other minerals;
- essential oils.
100 grams of the product contains: protein -11.44 grams; fat-5.6 grams; carbohydrates-61.2 grams. Energy value-310 kcal per 100 grams.
Use of saffron
It is believed that regular use of this spice contributes to:
- the improvement of the digestive tract;
- cleansing the body of toxins;
- relaxation of the nervous system;
- strengthen the skin and increase the elasticity of tissues;
- strengthening of musculoskeletal structures in the body;
- stabilization of the hematopoietic system;
- blocking the development of pathogenic flora in the body;
- formation and strengthening of the immune system.
With the use of this spice, a huge number of folk remedies are made for the treatment and prevention of various diseases.
For example, saffron in combination with milk (herbal tea) and honey is used to dissolve kidney stones and gall bladder. Various decoctions and infusions of saffron are used for cleansing and rejuvenation of the body. Saffron-based products are used to treat diseases of the throat and upper respiratory tract. The seasoning actively prevents the development of viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. In folk medicine, there are a huge number of recipes based on saffron, which are aimed at treating joints and muscle tissue. Saffron is included in various soothing preparations. This seasoning relaxes the nervous system and promotes healthy sleep.
With the help of saffron, you can quench the pain, relieve spasms. Therefore, this spice is included in the prescription of painkillers, antispasmodics. Saffron has an anti-inflammatory effect, stabilizes the metabolism. Therefore, the spice is good for maintaining the health of the digestive system. Often saffron is part of the endocrine part of the fees. This seasoning is used as a natural aphrodisiac to restore and maintain the sexual function of men and women. Sometimes saffron is used to treat asthma and other allergic diseases.
However, for whatever medical purpose saffron is used, you should not prescribe it yourself and use it without the supervision of a doctor. After all, any chronic diseases, as well as acute pathological conditions can become a serious contraindication for the use of this spice.
Saffron: the use of
Saffron is an expensive, noble spice that has a very pleasant spicy aroma and the ability to give dishes a piquant, refined taste. Of course, first of all, this seasoning is widely used in cooking. Wherever they add saffron! The spice is perfect for first and second courses. It is good in sauces and dressings. Saffron perfectly fits into the composition of rice dishes. This spice perfectly complements the taste as part of vegetable and salad combinations. Saffron is good in marinades. Suitable spice for decorating the taste and aroma of bean-based dishes. It is combined with cereals, starchy vegetables, and root vegetables. A little saffron will not hurt in the composition of soft and hot drinks.
Saffron is an original, almost unlike anything else spice. They call her the Queen of condiments!
It is worth noting that the dish where saffron is added should not be supplemented with any other spices. The fact is that this spice does not tolerate combination with other seasonings. This is its peculiarity, which, however, is not difficult to understand after trying dishes flavored with saffron. Anything more is simply not required. Spice saturates dishes and drinks with all the necessary notes.
In addition to cooking, saffron is used in several areas at once. For example, the use of spices in cosmetology is widespread. Saffron-based products are used to achieve the effect of rejuvenation. Saffron masks soften, moisturize, and nourish the skin. With this component, it is possible to achieve skin smoothing and significant reduction of wrinkles. In addition, saffron has an anti-inflammatory effect.
In addition to cosmetology and cooking, saffron is used in aromatherapy and folk medicine. This component allows you to achieve many positive changes on the part of the body. Therefore, saffron is really valued and added to modern folk remedies and aroma compositions. Use spice, purposefully wanting to improve health or just trying to achieve a General positive effect on the outside, internal state of mind.