What is this saffron?
Saffron is a valuable spice that adds flavor and color to food. It is reported that saffron got its name from the Latin word ‘Sufranum’. But as others believe, it has also been reported that it is derived from the Arabic word ‘Sufaran’ which means ‘yellow’.
Saffron can be used for many things. Saffron has various uses, from being a food flavoring ingredient to being an insecticide. These are ‘very’ expensive. To buy 1 kg of genuine Saffron you must have at least $10000 or more.
History of Saffron
These have been found in prehistoric sites in northwestern Iran. That means that saffron-based pigments are reported to be found in 50,000-year-old paintings. Later, the Sumerians used saffron in their magical potions. It is also mentioned that the ancient Persian devotees offered this saffron to the gods.
Various uses of Saffron
Saffron is a very valuable spice. From being a food flavoring ingredient to being an insect repellent, saffron has various uses. Today, saffron is one of the most expensive spices used in many different countries around the world. This article will be important for you to know about Saffron. Such as, why they are of such high value, what is special about saffron, the benefits we get from them, the various uses of saffron and many things you don’t know about them.
In ancient Persia, Persians used saffron thread for weaving. And since ancient times, saffron used for bright dyes, perfumes, and medicines. And saffron water is used for bathing. Moreover, saffron threads are used to drape over the beds of newlyweds on their wedding nights. It is also a special fact that saffron powder, which adds a delicious taste to food when taken as a flavoring, drink by adding it to hot milk.
You can study the benefits of this saffron from the following information. You can use saffron to protect yourself from various diseases and lead a comfortable and healthy life.
Benefits of saffron that can be used for a comfortable and healthy life.
1. Being a powerful antioxidant
Saffron is a powerful antioxidant. Saffron contains compounds such as Safaranal, Crocetin, Crocin and Kaempferol which are antioxidants. Saffron is important for your health because these antioxidants protect your cells from oxidative stress.
2. Being able to reduce PMS symptoms
Eating saffron will reduce your PMS symptoms. Furthermore, these symptoms can be controlled by smelling saffron. This means that saffron reduces PMS symptoms such as cravings, anxiety, pain, irritability, and headaches.
3. It can be used to improve mood and control symptoms of depression
Saffron can be used to treat mild to moderate depression. But more studies are needed before medical experts recommend saffron to reduce symptoms of depression.
4. Being able to use it as a medicine for cancer
Cancer is one of the worst diseases among humans. So, saffron can be used to kill cancer cells in the human body. That is, the antioxidants in saffron are very high and can be used to destroy only cancer cells without harming healthy cells in the human body. However more researches are needed before using saffron for this.
5. It can be used as an insecticide
Saffron can have both male and female insecticidal properties. This is especially helpful for those taking antidepressants.
6. It can be used to reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood sugar levels and improve memory
Saffron, which can be used as medicine for many diseases, has many medicinal properties. Saffron can be used to reduce heart disease, reduce blood sugar levels, improve memory and improve eyesight. However, further studies are needed before use.
7. It can be used to lose weight
You can reduce your appetite by using saffron. By using these, you can reduce your body weight and get a healthy body.
8. It can be used to flavor food
Saffron has a delicate taste and aroma. By adding it to food, you can add flavor and aroma to food. Saffron should be soaked in hot water to add a deep flavor to food.
By taking saffron as per standard dosages, you can protect yourself from many side effects. At present, saffron is being sold by vendors in stores of various brands. Therefore, there is a possibility that low-quality saffron is available in the market. So, when buying saffron, make sure to buy saffron from a reputable store.
The reason saffron smells is that it contains the chemical compounds picrocrocin and safranal. That is why saffron is often added to perfumes. The saffron thread that you have purchased can be used for up to 3 years if properly stored after purchase. But if you grind saffron, its shelf life will be reduced by 6 to 12 months. These can be damaged by moisture, oxygen, and light etc. So make sure to store properly in a dry, dark place after purchase.
Saffron products and related countries
Saffron is a very valuable and expensive spice. Various countries around the world are engaged in saffron cultivation. Among them, the information about the countries that occupied the primary positions is given below.
First place - Iranian saffron
Currently, many countries in the world are making various products related to saffron. Iran is currently the world’s largest producer of saffron. That means, among all the countries in the world, Iran occupies the first place in the production of saffron. As of 2018, Iran has a 44% share of the world market among all saffron producers in the world. In 2018, Iran exported 105 tons of saffron and the amount of saffron they used for domestic consumption was not recorded. Countries that import saffron from Iran can be listed as follows.
As the world’s largest producer of saffron, Iran produces saffron worth about $587 million annually. Iran sells 50% of the saffron it produces to Spain. That is, Spain is the country that imports the largest amount of saffron from Iran. After Spain, Hong Kong is the world’s largest importer of saffron from Iran. It is 16% as a percentage. That is, Hong Kong buys 96 million dollars worth of saffron from Iran. The United Arab Emirates is the third-largest importer of Iranian saffron, buying saffron at a cost of $89 million. It is 15% as a percentage.
After Spain, Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates, the countries that import the most saffron from Iran are as follows. The total saffron import of all those countries is 19% expressed as a percentage.
Apart from Spain, Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates, the countries that import saffron from Iran are:
- United Kingdom
- South Africa
Second place- Spanish saffron
After Iran, Spain is the world’s largest producer of saffron. They produce about 25 tons of saffron per year. The climate of the saffron-growing regions of Spain is very similar to that of the saffron-growing regions of Iran.
Even now, many universities in Spain are conducting various researches on saffron. They are also educating the farmers about saffron cultivation. Spain accounts for 20.7% of world exports of annual saffron production. It is 57.08 million dollars. Among the countries that import saffron from Spain, the first three places are the United States, Saudi Arabia and Italy.
Third place - Afghan saffron
Afghanistan is the third-largest producer of saffron in the world. It is reported that they have harvested 18 tons of saffron in 2018. It is valued at $58 million. Afghanistan exports its saffron to India, Saudi Arabia, France, United Arab Emirates, United States and Turkey. And Afghanistan imports 65.7% of saffron from Iran.
Above are the top three saffron producing countries in the world. Apart from the above countries, India is the fourth-largest producer of saffron, Greece is the fifth, Italy is the sixth, Morocco is the seventh and China is the eighth.
Foods that can be prepared using saffron
Saffron is used to flavor food. Different types of food can be prepared using saffron. In addition, saffron is used as a common ingredient in Iranian and Moroccan cuisine. Below are some dishes that can be prepared using saffron.
- Persian saffron rice
- Saffron Milk Cake
- Chicken saffron rice pilaf
- Saffron pasta with chicken, eggplant and bell pepper
- Persian saffron rice pudding (Shole Sard)
- Lusekator (Swedish Saffron Buns)
In addition to the foods mentioned above, different types of food are prepared using saffron in different countries around the world.
Now you may wonder what saffron tastes like. Saffron has a sweet floral flavor. Saffron has its own subtle flavor. As saffron is currently an expensive and valuable spice, traders are tempted to sell low-quality, inferior saffron. Saffron aged in this way has a bitter, metallic, plastic taste. So make sure to buy saffron from a reputable store in your saffron purchases.
Various diseases can be reduced by using saffron. But these cause various allergies to some people. So be sure to seek medical advice before use. Research has also shown that consuming large amounts of saffron may increase the risk of miscarriage. That is, a daily dose of 5 grams or more of saffron should not be taken during pregnancy. So avoid using more saffron during that season as it can stimulate the uterus.
Why is saffron so expensive?
Only three strands of saffron are produced from each flower. These flowers only bloom for one week each year. Saffron should be harvested from those flowers within that week. Saffron is very valuable as it blooms only for one week every year. The price is very high. Usually, you need to have at least $10000 to buy a kilo of real saffron. You can buy saffron at whole foods and gourmet grocery stores around the world. And they are also available on Amazon.
You can also use them for various things like flavoring food, flavoring food and even using it as medicine. As there is fierce competition for saffron these days, there may be substandard, low-quality saffron in the market. So, do not be fooled by imitations and make sure to buy high-quality saffron. Saffron can also be important to you in fighting various diseases and adding flavor in cooking. Saffron is critical important to avoid diseases and lead a healthy life.