Saffron – Making Food and Wallets Rich

Do you want to get rich? Well, maybe not to get rich, but to live comfortably and happily? To be healthy and not worry about tomorrow? All you have to do is grow, collect and dry the stamens of a pretty but not catchy flower… Saffron.

Saffron, or crocus sativus, is a bulbous plant with long narrow leaves and purple flowers, similar to spring crocus flowers. Saffron blooms in autumn. The dried stigmas of this plant is also referred to as “saffron”. To get only 28 grams of bright orange saffron, you need to pluck the stigmas from 4,000 freshly blossomed flowers. Saffron is used as a spice and as a food coloring. In the past, it – more widely than now – was used to dye fabrics in yellow. In addition, it was used in medicine and perfumery. 

In Europe, most spices, including saffron, came from different countries. And their origin was shrouded in mystery. Over time, spices like saffron have received the status of the most precious items of trade. Therefore, their story was inextricably intertwined with politics, intrigue, and wars. After all, everyone wanted to get rich. In ancient Rome, almost all the spices familiar to us now were known. Saffron was brought from Asia Minor. Arab merchants deliberately hid where they brought spices from. They composed tales and legends about the origin of incense. Emperors boasted of their wealth. So, the guests of one emperor reclined on pillows stuffed with Saffron and walked on the floors, strewn with this valuable spice. But Saffron to this day remains one of the most expensive spices in the world.

The high price of saffron is due to two reasons. Firstly, its production is very laborious. Secondly, the taste, aroma and healing properties of Saffron are unique. Saffron, in its majority, blooms only 10-15 days a year, with the flowering time of each flower being only 2-3 days. The collection of crocus pestles (Saffron) is only done by hand. Only blooming flowers are collected and the weather should be extremely sunny. The stigmas are plucked from the collected flowers, however, there are only three stigmas per crocus. The speed of collection and drying is very important. To get just one kilogram of saffron you need to collect 150,000 flowers. This must be done at dawn until the sun has dried the pistils. To get only 1 gram of Saffron (2 teaspoons of whole stigmas or half a teaspoon of ground) you need about 500 stigmas.

Due to the high cost of Saffron the markets have been flooded with fakes – similar plants that are similar in appearance and color, are mixed in and sold as real Saffron. In some cases, the Saffron stigmas are impregnated with glycerin to increase their weight and volume, increasing their market price. There have even been instances where cut and tinted paper was used. For these reasons, it is best not to purchase ground Saffron. 

Saffron is the strongest spice. The breathtaking aroma and spicy-bitter taste of Saffron will not leave anyone indifferent. Whether it’s Paella or pastries, Saffron will come to the rescue. So you want to get rich? Think carefully! After all, the main thing is to be spiritually rich!