Mediterranean Spice Saffron Is More Expensive Than Gold

Saffron is probably the world’s most expensive spice. Its prices at wholesale and retail rates range from US $500 to US $5,000 per pound and that’s why it is said that it is even more expensive than gold. Saffron spice is derived from the flower of Crocus stativus commonly known as the ‘saffron crocus’. Almost all saffron grows in a belt from Spain in the west to India in the east. The aroma and flavor of saffron is unique and difficult to describe. It is floral, but not sweet. It is warm and earthy, but not pungent. It is smooth and gentle, yet assertive. It is unmistakable, heady and wonderful. It is widely used in Persian, Indian, European, Arab, and Turkish cuisines.

Here are few simple reasons it’s so expensive – and worth it:

  • To glean 1 lb of dry saffron requires the harvest of 50,000-75,000 flowers; a kilogram requires 110,000-170,000 flowers.
  • Forty hours of labor are needed to pick 150,000 flowers.
  • A pound contains between 70,000 and 200,000 saffron threads.
  • Only one species of crocus yields the true saffron: Crocus sativus. The bulbs alone are expensive to buy.
  • It’s rather finicky to grow, with regards to climate, temperature and timing of rains. When it’s in it’s happy place it grows easily but it is grown in quite a few areas world-wide.
  • It’s not at all productive; three thin threads (if you are lucky) per flower.
  • It is difficult to harvest the threads as others have mentioned; it must be done by hand. The flowers are small and very low-growing, adding to the labour.
  • According to some sources, you have to pick the flowers before sunrise; otherwise the flower wilts and the threads are crushed or lost.
  • The threads are very fragile. The threads can easily turn into dust in your hands.

Mediterranean spice Saffron is more expensive than Gold

Mediterranean spice Saffron is more expensive than Gold

Mediterranean spice Saffron is more expensive than Gold

Mediterranean spice Saffron is more expensive than Gold

Mediterranean spice Saffron is more expensive than Gold

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