Saffron is the most expensive spices in the world. It is derived from the flower known as saffron crocus, whose stigmas and styles are collected, and left to dry in the sun, thereby giving us the saffron spice as we know it. it is said that in order to produce just one pound of dried saffron, about 75000 flowers are required.
Saffron can be used either in whole or ground form in various kinds of dishes. However, it is mostly used as whole because in this form, it has a longer shelf life compared to its ground form. Saffron is indigenous o Southern Europe, but today, it is widely cultivated in Mediterranean countries such as Spain and Greece as well as other countries such as France, Austria, England, Turkey, India and Iran.
Saffron is used both as a seasoning agent as well as a food colouring, thanks to its intense reddish-saffron colour, as the name suggests. It is commonly used to add flavour to meat, rice, cheese, mayonnaise, as well as liquors. Moreover, it is also employed in confectionaries, cakes and breads. Saffron has medicinal purposes as well, being commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine for treating fever, arthritis, infertility and impotence, liver enlargement, etc.