What is saffron
Saffron threads are gained from the bloom of a plant called Crocus Sativus. The farmers harvest the blooms by hand during the whole heyday that has a duration of twenty days. After that the petals of each plant are processed to remove the three stamps (threads). The threads will be sun dried untill they reach the optimal moisture content of 5% to 6% for the conservation. The stamps are very thin that there are up to 100’000 blooms needed to produce one kilogram (2,20462 lbs) saffron. This is the reason why saffon is so expensive.
The quality and price of saffron threads can vary a lot. There are multiple factors that affect the quality and price. The most important factors are the contents; Crocin (color content), Picrocrocin (bittern) and Safranal (fragrance).
There are diffrent kinds of saffron. The real persian saffron has longer threads and its yellow colour is more intense.
The main producing area in Iran lies in the highlands of Khorasan. In contrast to the spanish saffron the varieties from Iran, India, Greece or Marroco are dried in the sun.
Despite of the roasted flavour, the spanish saffron is still not traded as the best, because the Negin saffron from Persia has reserved this title already. The Sargol saffron is often titled as the best saffron. The only difference between the Negin and Sargol saffron is the lenght of the stamp threads. Both have the same amount of Crocin which lies at 230. In comparison to Sargol the Negin saffron is optical more appealing.
Saffron can be purchased in form of threads or as powder. We advise not to use any powder because it can be assumed that the poweder isn’t 100% purely saffron.