ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Saffron-High Price Spice

Updated on February 1, 2011

What is Saffron?

What is Saffron? That’s the most obvious question to ask if you don’t already know. I guess most people think of saffron as some kind of spice or flavouring, though I doubt if many people use it very often in their cooking.

Saffron is indeed a spice and has long been the most expensive spice in the world, as I write this you can buy 100 grams for $41 at Amazon not including shipping. That’s over $400 per kilo; of course prices can vary depending on where the saffron comes from and if the weather has affected the harvest. The best saffron has been priced as high as $15 per gram! That’s an eye watering $15,000 per kilo.

Before you rush out to dig up the lawn and start planting crocuses I should tell you that to make one pound of saffron you need to take the stigmas from 75,000 saffron crocuses, that’s 225,000 hand picked stigmas. That’s a lot of crocuses and a lot of work in planting them, cultivating them and gathering the stigmas.

The saffron crocus (crocus sativus) is a native plant of Southwest Asia, though the one which is cultivated to produce saffron is the result of human selection. Another result of this intervention by humans is the fact that the saffron crocus is sterile, in other words it does not produce seeds. The only way in which the growers can produce new plants is by digging up the corms of the crocus; these are the bulb like growths which during the course of a season splits into ten “cormlets”. These cormlets are replanted to provide a continuing production cycle.

The saffron crocus produces flowers in varying shades of purple, anything from mauve to lilac. Each crocus flower produces a style which has three prongs, each prong ends in a stigma, it is these stigma which are picked and dried to make saffron, surprisingly the stigma are themselves crimson in color whereas saffron is famed for its ability to produce rich golden yellow colours when added to food.

If you want more scientific facts about the crocus then you can shake a stick at, check out this page at wikipedia

Some people are tempted to look for a saffron substitute due to the expense of the real thing and you will find all sorts of other spices or plant petals suggested as an alternative, such as Turmeric, but only for the colour not the flavour, also suggested are Annatto seeds Marigold blossoms or Safflower, you could of course use artificial food coloring and flavouring but nothing will come close to the real thing for that you will have to buy saffron.

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)