Why is saffron so expensive?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “Why is saffron so expensive?” and information on the storage of saffron.

Why is saffron so expensive?

Saffron’s high price can be attributed to the challenging nature of the harvesting process. Because just a small portion of each saffron flower is used for harvesting and because the entire process must be carried out by hand, it is a very labor-intensive endeavor. 

Since only a small percentage of the saffron flower is harvested for its spice, it takes 75,000 blossoms to generate just one pound of saffron. The fact that only a small amount of saffron spice can be harvested from each plant, in addition to the fact that harvesting must be done by hand, contributes to the high cost of saffron.

Where may saffron be found in nature?

The first cultivation of saffron is thought to have taken place either in what is now the country of Iran or on the islands of the Aegean Sea in southwest Greece. There are several different ideas on the time and location of this cultivation.

Saffron’s popularity as a spice spread around the globe thanks to the proliferation of trade, exploration, and increasing empires. It is currently required in a wide variety of dishes, ranging from chicken and curry to risotto and paella.

At the moment, Iran, India, Spain, and Greece are responsible for the production of the vast majority of the world’s saffron. Iran is responsible for producing over ninety percent of the world’s saffron, which accounts for the country’s annual harvest of three hundred tons.

Nevertheless, Kashmir is the origin of the highest-quality and most expensive saffron in the world. Stuff’s possible to make over $1,500 for only one pound of it. (This is not a joke, people.) There is no question that the effects of climate change will drive the price of Kashmiri saffron substantially higher than it currently is.

What Can You Do With Saffron in Your Recipes?

The threads of saffron should be pounded into a powder before being added to a dish. The best place to begin when making ground saffron is with the saffron threads, which should be briefly roasted and then crushed by hand. 

On the other hand, you really must exercise the utmost caution to keep them from getting burned. In many different types of food, only a little bit of saffron goes a very long way; therefore, you should use it sparingly.

Before using saffron, it is common practice to first let the saffron threads steep in the liquid that they will be cooking in. If you steep the saffron for a longer time, the liquid you use to cook with will have a deeper color and a more robust flavor. Cooks who are concerned about their budget might save money by steeping saffron threads, using them in a dish, and then drying them for further use.

Where Can I Purchase Saffron?

However, even though it is readily available in a grocery shop that has a good supply of it, it is doubtful that thieves will find it on a shelf that is open to the public. In the spice section, it might be tucked away in a cabinet that’s locked, or you might have to inquire at the service desk to find it.

Saffron threads are superior to saffron powder in almost every application. One of the advantages is that it is much simpler to recognize fake saffron and to verify that one is getting the genuine product that they have paid for. Powdered saffron has less of a distinct flavor than whole saffron and is more likely to contain fillers and imitations. Whole saffron is also less likely to be adulterated.

What about saffron Storage?

Up to six months’ worth of flavor can be preserved in saffron threads by storing them in an airtight container that is kept in a cool, dark environment. Because it is sensitive to light, just like other herbs and spices, the packet should be wrapped in foil to provide additional light protection. 

It is not going to spoil, although the flavor will become less intense over time. Even though ground saffron should be stored in the same manner as whole saffron, you should use it within a few days of purchasing it since by the time you use it, it will have lost some of its potency.


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “Why is saffron so expensive?” and information on the storage of saffron.



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