Apart from being exceptional, saffron also holds amazing secrets that we will share with you!
About 72,000 flowers are required to produce 1 kg of saffron. Saffron production is a manual and labor-intensive process, which makes Saffron the most expensive spice in the world.
The name saffron derives from the Arabic word “asfar” which means "yellow". Saffron colour is also the official colour for Buddhist garments in India.
In Ancient Persia, saffron stigmas were spread in the beds on the first wedding night of the newlyweds, who were also offered hot milk with saffron powder as an aphrodisiac.
There were entire fleets which transported the "red gold" from the Mediterranean Sea and Asia to the European countries. Following the plunder of one of the supplies, a "saffron war" broke out, which lasted for three months.
Alexander the Great used Persian saffron in his tinctures as a healing agent for his wounds.
In the 15th century, the Saffron Act was introduced in Nuremberg. In the Middle Ages, saffron adulterers suffered death punishment. People always had to treat that spice with respect and reverence!
Saffron has an impressive shelf life. It can retain its aroma for more than two years when stored properly (in a cool, dark place).
The "red gold" improves memory! Recent studies have shown that saffron extract, especially the crocin contained in it, is useful in treating age-related mental disorders.
To cook Saffron, the threads are infused in hot, but not boiling, water to effectively draw the colour and flavour out.
Cleopatra's servants put saffron in her milk tubs. The ruler believed that the crocus's stigmas enhanced her beauty and health.