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Saffron from the Beautiful Crocus Flower

Updated on June 7, 2015

Saffron Spice History and Effect on the Body

Saffron originated in Arabia and was brought to Spain in the eighth century. Spain in the main exporter of Saffron today, but it is also exported from Greece and Turkey. It is the most costly spice and can be bought for about $50.00 an ounce. The red filaments or threads are actually the dried stigmas of the saffron flower which is a Crocus, which are lavender, white or yellow. Each flower contains only 3 stigmas. Of course they are picked by hand. It takes about 80,000 flowers to make a pound of saffron. Since it has a strong aroma and an intense flavor, it is used sparingly.

It is considered worth the price because of all the positive effects it has on your body. It contributes to promoting lower rates of heart disease; it aids digestion, alleviates fatigue and exhaustion because it works to strengthen the nervous system. It also aids digestion by increasing the appetite. It is high in thiamine and riboflavin which promote a healthy heart. Saffron is also used to improve the mood and clear the brain, where you can think more clearly.

Crocus Flower Producing Saffron

Photo Courtesy from faeriesfinest.com/D289.html
Photo Courtesy from faeriesfinest.com/D289.html

Saffron

Photo courtesy of fotosearch
Photo courtesy of fotosearch

Saffron Treat Ailments

Saffron can be made into milk which gives preventative care for those with mild heart problems. To use this remedy, bring 1 cup of milk to a boil and add a pinch of saffron. Reduce the heat and simmer for two minutes. You may sweeten it with honey or sugar. Drink it once daily.

The following recipe will help clear your mind and work as a mood booster. Use a pinch of saffron threads and 3 ounces of 100-proof alcohol, putting both ingredients into a.covered jar. Let stand for 2 weeks while storing the jar in a cool, dry place. Drink ¼ cup as necessary

Saffron Uses in Particular Recipes

When you purchase saffron, choose strands over powder as the strands have a better flavor. Store saffron in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Rice cooked with saffron is a favorite of many people. It is an indispensable ingredient in many recipes, such as; the Indian rice Palau, the Risotto a la Milanese of Italy; and the Spanish paella. Saffron is great with fish, in stews and soups. The Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish who grow their own in Lancaster County use saffron in cooking. Saffron is also used in Swedish cake and breads made for special occasions.

Seafood Newburg with Saffron Rice Recipe : Preparing Herbs

Summary

Saffron is a very interesting, very expensive, yet a very popular spice. It is probably one of the healthiest spices. Many people love the distinctive flavor it adds to their food.

© 2010 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

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  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 3 years ago from United States

    Theater Girl, I would like to try more recipes with saffron also. I appreciate your comments.

  • Theater girl profile image

    Jennifer 3 years ago from New Jersey

    Love using saffron in many recipes! Thanks for sharing this informative essay!

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 3 years ago from United States

    audrey, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate the comments.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 3 years ago from United States

    Denise, I have never had saffron bread but would love to try some. Thank you for sharing your experience and your comments, not to mention the share. Much apreciated.

  • AudreyHowitt profile image

    Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

    Well I learned something new! Great hub!

  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

    Pamela, I love Saffron bread. My late mother-in-law would make it each Christmas. It was the first time I had been introduced to it. I think this spice is 'magical'. Thanks for sharing and triggering some very fond memories! UP/I/A/U and shared.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 3 years ago from United States

    Nell Rose, I am glad you enjoyed the information in the hub and I appreciate your comments. I hope you have had a wonderful Sunday also.

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

    Amazing, I never realised just how expensive it was, great information Pamela, and something I never knew about, have a wonderful Sunday, nell

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    RTalloni, I appreciate your comments.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

    Thanks, Pamela99, for this overview of saffron.

    Voted up.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    Charles, Thanks for the information. i appreciate your comments.

  • profile image

    Charis Kosmas 6 years ago

    To put it right there is documented evidence that saffron was used since 3.000 years ago in Santorini and Crete (HELLAS), so it can't be coming from Arabia.

    They were paying much attention to it and had wall paintings showing the collection process.

    Scientist believe that it was first "domesticated" in Crete over long term selection of those flowers producing long stigmas. ie it is product of Crete.

    It seems also that you have not noticed that 96% of production today is in Iran.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    jdaviswrite, Thank you so much for your comment and linking my hubs to yours.

  • jdaviswrites profile image

    Jeff Davis 7 years ago from California

    great hub pamela - in fact I linked to it in my hub about saffron. hopefully it helps drive some well-deserved traffic your way. keep up the good work!

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Nancy, thank you for your comment.

    Belinda, Thank you for your comments.

  • Belinda Hodge profile image

    Belinda Hodge 7 years ago from Brisbane Australia

    That is so interesting that it's good for your heart! I must see where I can get some here (Australia). Very interesting!

  • nancy_30 profile image

    nancy_30 7 years ago from Georgia

    This was a great hub. I learned a lot of new things.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Nellienna, It sounds like you eat healthy. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • Nellieanna profile image

    Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

    Saffron - ummmmmmmm! It has such ambience! I admit I don't invest in it - but use tumeric quite often. It adds the color and also is very healthy. Ginger is a must in my house, too. So many herbs and spices have great health benefits.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Support Med, I would like to try a dish with saffron as it has been so many years I can't remember if I liked it. Thank you for your comment.

  • Support Med. profile image

    Support Med. 7 years ago from Michigan

    Sounds great! I can't remember ever having saffron; probably did as I have eaten spanish rice, who knows. I would really like to purchase some threads. I do love cooking with the oil, very flavorful. Voted-up/rated!

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Love to Read, What a perfect opportunity to try the saffron if you can buy it from the neighbors. Thanks for your comments.

  • Loves To Read profile image

    Loves To Read 7 years ago

    I knew safron was very expensive as i had seen it used on cooking shows. I have not used it myself but was very surprised to find we have neighbours who have been trying to grow it and have just harvested their first lot of threads. They are selling 12 stigmas for $8AU. Apparently this is quite cheap. Great hub Pamela.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Roberta, I'm glad you learned something new about saffron. Thank you for your comment.

    Prasetio, Thank you for your comments again. I am glad you liked this hub.

  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

    great hub and good information from you. I learn much from this hub. You also give me something information. And I get new knowledge about this plant. Good job, Pamela. I rate this Up.

    Prasetio

  • Roberta99 profile image

    Roberta99 7 years ago

    I knew saffron was expensive, but that was all I really knew about it. Learned something new.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Habee, Thanks for your comment.

    Carolina, You would think it might be a little cheaper in Spain. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and thanks for your comment.

  • carolina muscle profile image

    carolina muscle 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

    I always wondered why it was so expensive.. even in Spain! I love it, and this hub, too!!

  • habee profile image

    Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

    I love saffron! Thumbs up and useful!

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Anginwu, I think I would like to come to eat at your home. Thanks for your comments.

    Tom, Sometimes that is the best thing to do. Patriot distracts me sometimes too. Thanks for your comment.

  • Tom Whitworth profile image

    Tom Whitworth 7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

    Pamela,

    After reading patriots comment I forgot the topic. I guess I'll just imbibe the 100 proof alcohol and forget about the saffron.

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 7 years ago

    Love saffron. I used them to make Spanish paella and Indian Bryani. I especially love the color it gives to food. Your hub gives me more incentive to include saffron in my food. I'm going to try the milk tea. Rated up and linked your spice hub to mine:)

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Hello, Thanks for your comment.

    Miata, Thank your for your comments.

    Darlene, I think you can probably find it in health food stores and in your better grocery stores. Thank you for your comments.

  • Darlene Sabella profile image

    Darlene Sabella 7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

    This is another of your outstanding hubs, I never heard of it at all. can you buy in health food stores? What a well written and informed hub, thumbs up, useful and awesome...

  • prettydarkhorse profile image

    prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

    if it is good for the heart it is good, Thank you, I never heard of this before Pam, Maita

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    Great hub and great information. Thank you.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Patriot, Thank you for the song and suggestions. I think your suggest has merit! You do know on my last hub people are referring to your comment wondering if you are for real. Thanks again.

  • profile image

    Partisan Patriot 7 years ago

    Pamela

    I'm just mad about Saffron

    Saffron's mad about me

    I'm just mad about Saffron

    She's just mad about me

    They call me mellow yellow

    (Quite rightly)

    They call me mellow yellow

    (Quite rightly)

    They call me mellow yellow

    So as far as me and Donovan go we love Saffron! I’m surprised Greece has anything left to export and as for Turkey, well they are too busy inciting Israel to worry about something as innocuous as Saffron!

    If it clears the brain, where you can think more clearly, I highly recommend a supply be sent to the White House ASAP.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Sheila, Thanks for the comments. I learned some things when I researched the material for the hub also.

  • sheila b. profile image

    sheila b. 7 years ago

    I've cooked with saffron but never thought about where it comes from. I must say, it's a surprise to know it comes from the crocus flower. You've taught me something, and I love that. Thanks.