We get the spice saffron from Crocus sativus or saffron crocus flower, a plant from the Iridaceae family.
The term "autumn crocus" is also used to refer to a flower similar to it, the Colcigam. It is a perennial plant.
Crocus has three pollen and three styles, while Colcigams has six pollen and one style. They belong to a different family called Colgicase. Colchicum is poisonous.
Humans have been growing this autumn flowering plant on for over 3,500 years. It is known to grow in the Mediterranean, the Iran-Duranian area, and East Asia.
Manual plant breeding is vital for producing this plant because it is a triploid, self-compatible, and male. Thus, it is unable to grow crops.
The inability to reproduce on its supports the guess that a mutant is moved downward/originated from Carthage.
The saffron corms should be planted in a pot at 4-inches apart with a depth of 4 inches. This flower grows best in full sun in well-drained soil.
There is an increase in production each year and lasts for 3-5 years. The high retail value of it is due to manual labor collecting methods.
200000 stigmas are obtained from 70,000 crocus flowers for every 1 pound of this spice. It takes 40 hours of intense work to hand pluck 150,000 flowers.
About 150 flowers give 1 gram of dry saffron. 12 grams require 1 lb of flowers. 1 pound yields 0.2 ounces of dry spice.
Growing zone for this spice
Most of it grows east to west, from Kashmir to Spain. In 2014, 250 tons were only produces worldwide. 90-93% of worldwide production is from Iran.
Other names of saffron are Autumn Crocus, Asafron, Flaky roll stigma, Crocus, Indian Saffron, Cashmere Saffron, Saffron Crocus Crocus Sativus, Saffron, Saffron Espagnol, Sauphran Desfus Indus.
It is used to cure breathing disease, coughs, and even whooping cough. It can help you avoid sleep problems, cancer, depression, brain disease, hemoptysis, pain, heartburn, and dry skin.
Women use saffron for menstrual cramps and premenstrual disease (PMS). Men use it to prevent premature ejaculation and barrenness.
This wonder spice is packed with antioxidants. These help in battling oxidative stress caused by the free radical cells present in the body.
As a result, it keeps cancer at bay!
b. Improves memory
This spice is known to counter cognitive deficits resulting from age. It also helps in improving memory in Alzheimer's' patients.
c. Improves eyesight
This spice is very reliable for people wanting to reduce or eliminate the vision loss that results from aging. It also helps cure eye diseases.
d. Stress management
Many people use this spice as a way to combat stress. It has lots of carotenoids, which can improve our natural disease-fighting system and reduce stress.
It also supports the secretion of brain chemicals. Thus you can use it to relax their mood, reduce and eliminate stress.
e. Helps against depression
Medicine is one way to treat depression. However, many people avoid these drugs because they come with many side effects.
You can't expect side effects from this, but you can use this as an effective natural cure. It has alpha-crocin and saffron, which are compounds that can manage stress.
Another reason you should use this spice is that it has anti-inflammatory agents. With the help of these properties, you can improve heart health for all ages. It also reduces swelling in the lungs.
g. Improves heart
This spice helps battle cholesterol and blood pressure. It lowers the sugar level in the body.
It helps you reduce stress and relax. It improves sleep. This helps improve heart health.
This expensive spice is called "red gold" because of its luxurious colour and flavour. It's an extraordinary flavor that's incomparable.
Its cultivation is time-intensive and complicated. Its production is not so easy. It should be dry to prevent mold and prolong the shelf life of the threads.
Once dried, it is ready for packaging and sale. Fresh saffron refers to the threads younger than a year.
Not all available varieties are carefully thought about/believed to be of the same high quality.
Since it is costly, you should be extra careful when buying this spice. It has a lot to offer. You can use it in different fancy dishes.
It improves the taste and color of foods and acts as a natural preservative. It has many health virtues.
The following are some ways you can test the quality of this spice.
- Taste: Original spice tastes bitter. Take a thread and taste it. If it's sweet, it's probably fake.
- Smell: This spice has hay or honey scents. Any other fragrance is a mark of impurity.
- Color: Original products shouldn't lose their color. Soak a few stigmas in water. If the stigmas dye the water red or orange but lose colour, they're fake.
- Water-soluble: Original product dyes water, but it is NOT water-soluble.
This spice has earned a GI tag. A GI tag, like creative commons, grants the seller special rights. This tag is also a hallmark of quality.
In India, this spice is grown only in Kashmir. In the state, Pampore is known as the "Kesar-town" or "Saffron town" because almost all of the land is used to cultivate this spice.
If your spice is from Kashmir, know that it's of the best quality.
Grades decide the quality of this spice. They are as follows:
- Grade 1 A+ Stigmas only. It is also known as 'All Red.'
- Grade 2 A It includes the yellow-white style ends of the stigma along with the stigmas.
- Grade 3 B It includes the entire style and the stigma, all attached.
This is an expensive spice whose sale witnesses a lot of malpractices.
You can make sure you buy Kashmiri Kesar the most authentic and exorbitant quality without being conned or scammed with this information.
Crocus Sativus in Hindi
It is called as क्रोकस सटिवस in Hindi it is Keshar, Kesar कश्मीरी केशर or kashmiri Kesar