Saffron: A Precious, Fragrant, and Ancient Spice

As one of the oldest and most expensive spices in the world, saffron is a culinary ingredient with a bold, golden-yellow hue and a savory-sweet smell that envelops your senses all at once.

First cultivated and used by the Ancient Greeks, saffron is the thread-like stigmas from the center of the saffron crocus flower. Commercially grown in India, Iran, Greece, and Morocco, saffron is quite the expensive delicacy. In fact, truly good saffron can cost thousands of dollars by the pound!

Why Is Saffron So Expensive?

One of the reasons saffron is so expensive is because of how the ingredient is processed. Farmers handpick the threads from the saffron crocus flower. Harvesting this crop is labor-intensive and each flower only yields three small threads of saffron. Workers harvest these threads during the mid-morning when the flower is still closed. To bottle one ounce of dried saffron, it takes over 1000 crocus flowers.

Saffron Health Benefits:

Since the early days of the Ancient Greeks and Ancient Romans, saffron was present in both kitchen cabinets as well as medicine cabinets. The Ancient Greeks believed that saffron improved everything from mood and memory to libido. Modern-day studies are proving those beliefs to be true! Additionally, saffron is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease.

Culinary Use:

When in cooking, saffron leaves behind a vibrant yellow color, adding flair to dishes like our basmati rice. Saffron is prized for its fragrant and sweet, earthy aroma that balances the characteristics of Persian cuisine. Light can degrade the spice over time, so it’s often stored in airtight containers in dark cabinets for safekeeping.

At Moby Dick House of Kabob, you will encounter the fragrance and color of saffron in every bowl of delicious basmati rice we serve. Join us for lunch or dinner and experience how we incorporate this rare and delicate spice into our menu items.

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