Saffron, however, is a very expensive spice. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. It takes an immense amount of physical labor to handpick, dry, trim, and package this majestic spice. Cydney Grannan was an Editorial Intern at Encyclopædia Britannica. in Natural Herbs. While Persian saffron has about 70% of total world production, in case of quality Kashmiri saffron is the best and finest. The Rarity of Saffron Bron Maxabella. 8 Oct 2020 - 9:51 AM UPDATED 8 Oct 2020 - 9:59 AM. On average, the country makes a pittance from the exports of saffron – $170 million a year. So, we prefer to harvest the saffron early morning every day Narrator: 90% of the world's saffron is grown in arid fields in Iran. There is no known black market for saffron as far as we know, but it wouldn’t be surprising if that were a reality. The reality is that unless countries that produce and sell saffron can do so under slave labor conditions, the price of the highest quality saffron will never go down. Why is Saffron expensive? Another factor that makes it even more expensive is that a lot of saffron gets thrown away. Is 27 an Especially Deadly Age for Musicians? Thus, the harvesting process is very, very labour-some. It’s not likely Iran would hold the world’s supply of saffron hostage (?) The saffron crocus only blossoms during a short period in the fall. The small amount of saffron spice per plant, along with the fact that harvesting must be done manually, leads to saffron’s being majorly expensive. And it’s not as Iran is making scads of money from exporting the spice. Why is Saffron So Expensive? One question that can be asked is whether there will be another spice that will supplant saffron as the preferred spice for recipes. - A hundred Kgs of fresh flowers yield about 3 Kilograms of dehydrated stigmas, which constitute the finest and the most expensive saffron, called “Shahi Zafran” & This is the main product supplied by IKS Brand India Kashmir Saffron to its customers. Saffron is a spice, which means it is a plant, which means that it has to be grown, cultivated, and uprooted at precisely the right time for it to have any value at all. Saffron is made from the saffron crocus, a purple flower that blooms in autumn and can grow almost anywhere in the world. There are many reasons due to which saffron is so popular. Its ideal climate is just as extreme as its price. Why Is Saffron So Expensive? by SpicesPlate. Only a small amount of each saffron flower is used, and all harvesting must be done by hand. That is the cost of several high quality chocolate bars, something not to be taken lightly. If that fact doesn’t seem fair to you for reasons other than political (though everything is political these days) you should understand why this is so. It is a very labor-intensive handpicking process. The real reason that saffron is so expensive is because of the three main chemical components that make up the flower. The highest quality saffron is made with only the stigmas’ red tips with the rest being discarded. Each flower produces only three threads (stigmas) of saffron, and it blooms for only one week each year. With a wholesale price tag as high as $10,000 per pound, saffron is the single most expensive food on earth. Saffron - the Most Expensive Spice on Earth. So, without further ado, let’s go deep into the question, why is saffron expensive? Why Is Saffron So Expensive? Why Is Saffron So Expensive? (It isn’t.). Saffron is expensive because you need 150.000-200.000 stigmas for a single pound/400 gr of saffron. Of course, the market forces of supply and demand also influence the bottom line price to the consumer. Why Is Saffron So Expensive? These are some of the reasons why Saffron is so expensive and the most precious spice in the world. In Spain, it turns Valencia rice into golden paella. What we use for that distinctive yellow color, sweet-herb smell, and bitter taste is actually the stigma (plural stigmata)—the pollen-germinating part—at the end of the red pistil, the female sex organ of the plant. Iran alone harvests the highest volume and highest quality saffron in … These must be removed by hand and carefully toasted to dry. The spice we think of when we hear “saffron” is actually only a small part of the plant itself. Today the herb is also us... Saffron Expensive ancient Greeks Romans saffron Since such a small part of the flower is used, it takes 75,000 saffron flowers to make one pound of saffron spice. But why is Saffron so expensive? Technology might arrive at a solution in the future, but not being saffron picking experts we cannot say whether it is even possible. There are only three stigmata in each saffron flower. Saffron is the red stigma of the Crocus sativus. So it takes some 75,000 saffron flowers to make just one pound of spice. The main reason why saffron is so expensive is the fact that the process of production of this spice can’t be automated. Its costliness has to do with its harvesting. (It is doubtful Iran has minimum wage laws.) The restrictive climate demands cannot be found just anywhere, and then you have to factor in the necessary labor force to plant, grow, and harvest it. These must be removed by hand and carefully dry. By: Max Falkowitz Illustration: Carmela Caldart. Even in the expensive world of spices, saffron stands out. Saffron is one of the most precious spices in the world, retailing for more than $500 an ounce. People who have experienced handpicking large areas of land can understand this better than most of us. The ancient Greeks and Romans used saffron as perfume, and saffron is mentioned in the Chinese materia medica from the 1550s. The saffron must be harvested—by hand!—in the mid-morning, when the Saffron is believed to be native to the Mediterranean, Asia Minor, and Iran, although Spain, France, and Italy are also now primary cultivators of the spice. Why Is Saffron So Expensive. Why is Saffron so expensive? It has to be handpicked – no modern machinery allowed. Flowers that create long, deep threads are the most flavorful. The good news is that it doesn’t take but a pinch of saffron to enhance the flavor of a dish. Once the stigmata (and their red pistils) have been separated from the plant, they are dried to preserve their color and flavor. Saffron is one of the most valuable spices medicine in the world from the past. Saffron is one of the world’s most expensive spices. Each flower has three threadlike thing in the center. The expense comes from the extraordinary labor involved in harvesting and preparing it for storage. As a matter of botany, saffron is the stigma of the blue flowering crocus, Crocus sativus, which is a botanical classification. Why is saffron expensive? Why is saffron so expensive ? This labor-intensive spice is nearly worth its weight in gold. Harvesting saffron requires a lot of physical labor to get the flowers from the field to final packaging. The ancient Greeks and Romans used saffron as perfume, and saffron is mentioned in the Chinese materia medica from the 1550s. There are only 3 stigmas (referred to as saffron threads) per flower. So the math is $8.39 per gram of saffron. It is so expensive because it is an extremely labor-intensive crop.The buds developed to complete flowers in the fall. It’s hard to make these things up. A second reason is the weather. Saffron is known as the most expensive spice in the world. Each cardamom pod must be picked when it is about ¾ ripe so time and care are needed to … Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, but there are so many reasons why you'll still want to buy it. Saffron (Crocus sativus) is a purple flower. One of Iran’s products that they proud of is Saffron. Each flower has three tiny, threadlike stigmas in the center. Safron consists of the dried stigmas of the purple crocus. Though native to Greece, it is Iran that produces the lion’s share of the spice, accounting for 93% of the world’s supply. Its costliness has to do with its harvesting. Persian saffron. Safranal, crocin, and picrocrocin, these three compounds are extremely expensive, they are also responsible for the smell, taste and colour of saffron. So, yes, the process is labor intensive. It is used in cooking, and adding even a small amount of … Holy Cow! Each crocus has three small stigmas that have to be picked carefully by hand. Why is saffron so expensive? If you are a saffron lover, you are very likely just going to have to accept its price and use it wisely in your recipes. Ancient Romans and Greeks have used saffron as a perfume. Why Saffron Is More Expensive Than Gold by Jeremy Glass Jun 16, 2020 One flower from the saffron crocus ( Crocus sativus ) plant typically yields just three stigma that must be extracted by hand, one of the main reasons this highly sought-after spice is so expensive. For those who prefer the metric metric, there are 453 (and a pinch more) grams to every American pound. After all, not every rare thing for consumption is in demand. Each flower produces 3 stigmas, and havs to be handpicked. As it was mentioned earlier, the plant is native to Greece, but Greece is only 50,000 or so square miles in size, while Iran is more than 630,000 square miles in size. Why You Should Follow Patek Philippe on Instagram. The stamens and styles of the Crocus sativus flower have to be picked by hand. Not only past but also today use saffron as a cooking spice, herb, medicine, and even as a clothing and skin dye. By. So, we prefer to harvest the saffron early morning every day Narrator: 90% of the world’s saffron is grown in arid fields in Iran. The history reflects that it was first mentioned some 1500 years ago in an Assyrian text that was discussing botanical findings. Further research into this particular aspect of saffron is highly recommended. One piece of good news is that a little goes a long way, so it’s not like you are going to use it like salt or pepper. The main reason this spice is so expensive is because it needs to be harvested by hand. Kashmiri saffron has deep dark maroonish-purple hue. Saffron, however, is a very expensive spice. Take it from those who are experts in the field, not all saffron is created equal. For those of the less sophisticated classes, saffron is a spice – the world’s most expensive spice. The current going rate tops out at about $3,800 per American pound. Only a few others, such as Saffron and Vanilla, are more expensive. So the math is $8.39 per gram of saffron. Crocus sativa, or the saffron crocus, flowers in the fall. And since a single flower has only three stigmas, it takes 50,000 to 75,000 flowers to yield a pound of dried saffron threads. It’s now an essential part of some Eastern, Middle Eastern, and European dishes, such as the French bouillabaisse, Spanish paella, Moroccan tagines, and many more dishes. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world. Saffron has been known and appreciated since antiquity for its taste and medicinal properties. Finally, there is the issue of quality. But while the plants might be geographically adaptable, they’re very particular: the flowers only bloom for one to three weeks each year and must be hand-picked. Each crocus flower contains only three stigmas so it takes more than 75,000 flowers to provide a single pound of the spice. But do you know why this is the most expensive spice and is it really worth it? Currently, most of the world's saffron is produced in Iran and, in smaller quantities, in Greece, Morocco, Spain, Kashmir(India) and Italy. She received her B.A. Even factoring in supply and demand, there is a base price that cannot go down. One is the harvesting of the stigma. How Do You Even Pronounce Patek Philippe? The answer, in short, is that it is extremely tricky to harvest. Yet from another perspective there can only be so much saffron grown every year. Consider that the current price of gold is hovering around $1,500 per pound and you begin to get a sense of how much people are paying to add saffron to their recipes. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. The most expensive food on earth costs more per ounce than silver. Only a small amount of each saffron flower is used, and all harvesting must be done by hand. All of the hard work that goes into harvesting saffron is the reason why saffron is so expensive. Real saffron is extremely expensive, costing over USD 10,000 per kilogram. Why is saffron so expensive? Saffron is a spice, which means it is a plant, which means that it has to be grown, cultivated, and uprooted at precisely the right time for it to have any value at all. To complicate matters, the number of stigmas per flower is a measly three. So when going shopping and being willing to pay upwards of $3,800 per pound you need to know your stuff. It’s the spice that gives that distinctive yellowish color and with $5,000 a pound (453gr), it’s by far the world’s most expensive spice.. To put that into context, the second most expensive spice, which is vanilla, is sold at $600 a pound. Being packed with antioxidants that help battle depression and also helps in regulating your blood pressure – saffron has gained popularity all across the globe. The Patek Philippe Twenty 4: A Buyer’s Guide, How Criss Angel Achieved a Net Worth of $50 Million, How Jennifer Love Hewitt Achieved a Net Worth of $22 Million, How Henry Rollins Achieved a Net Worth of $6 Million, How Sonja Morgan Achieved a Net Worth of $8 Million. Obviously, this requires a significant amount of arable land to grow a single pound of the spice. In Iran, it adds regal fragrance to workaday cups of black tea. Between 200 and 500 individual stigmas are required to make a single gram of saffron. Now that you know where saffron comes from, you may still find yourself wondering exactly why it is so costly. There are basically three reasons why saffron gets that pricey tag; its rarity, the harvesting process, and the medicinal and nutritional values that it holds. The stigmata is delicate, so harvesting and drying them is a costly, manual job. Patek Philippe Vs. Rolex: Who’s the Winner? A stigma here is not a bad thing, just the scientific way of defining the top part of the pistil of a flower, which just so happens to be the female reproductive part of a flower. At our website you will receive useful information about Saffron: where it grows, how to choose and store it, as well as everything about cooking Saffron or Zaafaran dishes. So just what makes this spice so expensive? If you’ve ever eaten a properly made paella, then you’ve tasted saffron. Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. This goes to show you that science may discover things, but it is the cooks and chefs of the world (domestic and otherwise) who practically apply what we know. This isn’t all. You probably already know that saffron is an extremely exquisite spice. A large number of reasons, significant and insignificant, can be cited for the high price of the plant, but there are three reasons that stand out above the rest. It’s not certain whether climate change has affected the price of saffron, but it thrives in extreme temperatures on either end of the temperature scale. Doing the math, the total production and sale of saffron is just under 45,000 pounds presuming all the saffron sold is top quality. It is so expensive because it is an extremely labor-intensive crop. since it’s not actual physical gold metal (but may carry a similar sentiment among the cooking community). Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. But harvesting all of that saffron comes at a price. Type "Why is so expensive" into google.co.uk and top is: "why is saffron so expensive?" in English from the University of Chicago in 2016. The spice is made from the tiny red stigmas o.. One question I always get is, “Why is saffron so expensive, more expensive than oil or gold?” I’ve seen saffron in gourmet food markets sold in tiny glass bottles for as much as $20 for about 10 threads. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Real saffron can cost you over $10,000 per kilogram. But even with larger areas of the planet experiencing extreme temperatures, there is no guarantee that a country’s economy will have much interest in growing saffron to supplement its national income. Today the herb is also used as a cooking spice and a clothing dye. Infused with properties that have numerous benefits on health, skin and hair, Pure Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. Aside from all this, saffron is not a fast crop, it reproduces slowly and has a very specific timeframe for harvesting. After that, it's insurance, Photoshop, champagne and Warhammer that users seem to … The concept of “a pinch” goes a long way when adding saffron to your favorite recipes. But harvesting all of that saffron comes at a price. That translates into many people and considerable cost, even at minimum wage. The crocus flower requires specific weather conditions for it to flourish. As noted earlier, the effects of climate change have not been current seen affecting the world’s production of saffron. After the stigma (or saffron) gets separated from the flower, the strands that are obtained then need to be dried out. Saffron is believed to be native to the Mediterranean, Asia Minor, and Iran, although Spain, France, and Italy are also now primary cultivators of the spice. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. In India, it … That is the cost of several high quality chocolate bars, something not to be taken lightly. 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