Golden spice…a fantastic add-on for your foods

Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Dec 28, 2011 - 04:55 PM

Photo: Saffron historically was priced higher than gold; today, it’s the most expensive spice in the world. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

Saffron historically was priced higher than gold; today, it’s the most expensive spice in the world. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

How many recipes do you run across that call for saffron, yellow gold? Not many, but when you do, is there a container of it to be found on your spice shelf? If not, get one today and learn how to incorporate this fantastic spice in some of your favorite dishes, keeping in mind that a little dab will do you.

Coming from the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus, commonly known as Rose of Saffron, it takes 75,000 blossoms or 225,000 hand-picked stigmas to make a single pound, which explains why it is the world’s most expensive spice. That calculates to about $50 an ounce. A one-acre plot will yield 6 to 12 pounds of this spice.

Saffron was first documented in a 7th century BC Assyrian botanical reference. However, since then documentation of saffron’s use over a span of 4,000 years in the treatment of illnesses has been uncovered.

The origin of saffron is confusing, yet it can almost be confirmed that it comes from the Orient. Today Iran is the world’s largest producer of saffron, but Spain is the world’s greatest exporter.