Saffron Kashmiri whole stigma
The World’s most expensive spice, Saffron is the stigma that is plucked from a low-growing, purple-flowered crocus.
Kashmiri Saffron is considered to be the world's finest.
There are only 3 Saffron stigmas per flower and 5 acres of Saffron plants yields somewhere between 500g and 750g of Saffron stigmas in a good year! It is estimated that it takes some 14,000 stigmas to produce only one ounce of saffron threads. A pinch of saffron is about 20 strands.
- Saffron has been valued over the centuries because it is a water soluble dye.
- It is used to color and flavor rice dishes such as paella and biryani.
- Typically use between 8 and 12 stigmas to color 1 cup of rice.
- Soak the stigmas in warm water for about 15 minutes before adding with the Saffron and colored water to a dish.
- Saffron that contains pale yellow threads is actually Saffron stigmas with the style attached.
- The style is the section that joins the stigmas into the base of the flower.
- Saffron with yellow style is regarded as inferior to pure Saffron stigmas.
- Adding a luminant yellow/orange coloring to food, saffron also has a distinctive, slightly bitter honey taste.
- Because of its high value Saffron is often adulterated with safflower petals, coconut fibre, cornsilk and any other similar looking material that the unscrupulous trader can pass off as Saffron.
- Even strict U.S. Consumer Laws are circumvented by some unscrupulous domestic spice merchants since Saffron is so valuable.
Health Benefits: Active components in saffron have many therapeutic applications. Studies have showed it effective in reducing memory loss in Alzheimer patients. Saffron is considered a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals that cause wear and tear on the tissues and cells. Antioxidants help to neutralize carcinogens, may soothe inflammation, and slow the aging process. Saffron is thought to be an aphrodisiac, may enhance one’s mood, and is considered beneficial in treating depression, holistically. Saffron may be helpful in treating infertility and reducing menstrual problems in women. Saffron can be used to induce sweating.