This article can help you as a complete saffron buying guide. It gives you an answer for why saffron is expensive, what are the types, quality, and grades of saffron, how to identify the pure and original saffron in the market, how to buy saffron based on your requirement, and how you can effectively use the saffron to get plenty of benefits from it.
How to buy saffron?
What is saffron?
Saffron is spice which we get from the flowering plant named ‘crocus sativus’. The saffron is also called as the king of spice because of two reasons:
- First, it has a good aroma and a unique flavor while you add it to your food recipe.
- The second reason is, it is the expensive spice in the world which is called red gold.
The red stigma in the flower is the saffron which we use as a spice. It is actually a female part of the flower. Each flower has 3 stigmas in it. And these stigmas are plucked from the flower and dried. Finally, we get the saffron.
History and global use of saffron:
The use of saffron in human civilization starts before 3500 years. The saffron originated from Iran and slowly extended to the rest part of the world. Based on the grand view research (1) the global market size of saffron was valued at around USD 645.9 million in 2015 and it is expected to reach around USD 2.0 billion by 2025. As a matter of fact, food, medical and cosmetic industry play a dominant role in saffron usage.
Why saffron is so expensive?
Saffron is a complicated spice to grow. To make 500 grams of spice, it takes around 50000 flowers. The harvesting requires huge skilled labor of work. Because the saffron should be harvested during the early morning after the sunrise. Once the flower opens after the sunrise the crocus degradation starts because of the harmful rays of sunrise and dust. It results in the change of the chemical structure of the saffron. And that is the reason for the early morning harvest. Due to the requirement of skilled labors and huge land space with suitable soil and climate, the saffron becomes expensive.
The quality of saffron begins from choosing the right crom/saffron bulb. The producer should be more careful during their corm selection. The size of the saffron bulb is the primary indicator of the quality yield. Additionally, the right climate and the quality of soil are also an important factor for the quality of saffron. Iran is a suitable place to grow saffron. And Iran is the largest exporter of saffron.
Saffron Buying Guide
Types of Saffron:
This type of saffron the best, rarest and expensive type of saffron. The length of the thread will be from 2 – 3 centimeters with full red in color. The threads are symmetrically cut in such a way you can not find the orange or whitish-grey color in the thread. It will be long with a full concentration of saffron. So that you can find the maximum flavor and aroma.
Super negin type is the second-best in quality. This type of saffron is also full red in color with no wavy pattern. You can not find the orange and whitish-grey color in the threads. Compared to premium super negin, this type has a shorter length. It will be around 1.5cm to 2cm in length.
In the negin family, this type of saffron has the shortest length and it contains a very little part of orange color in the thread. On the other hand, it has a very good smell and taste compared to the pushal and bunch saffron.
Comparing to the above three pushal is the lower grade of saffron. It has more orange parts compared to the negin saffron. The length of pushal saffron is around 2cm – 3cm and it usually has a wavy pattern. The level of grade saffron concentration will be less compared to the above three types.
Bunch Saffron/Abu Sheiba
Bunch Saffron is the Abu sheiba. As a matter of fact, it is the lowest grade of saffron. When compared to the above four types, the Abu sheiba is the longest saffron which usually comes as a bunch. The length of the bunch saffron will be around 3cm – 6cm. This type of saffron threads has less red color, more orange color and whitish-grey at the bottom.
How to identify the original saffron before buying
Buying an expensive spice like saffron should always be worth for spending money. It is very essential to find the original/pure saffron in the market. Saffron buying guide explains that there are a few simple steps to identify the originality of saffron in the market. The most common method is the hot water test.
Just add a few threads of saffron in the hot water and check for the change of color. If you could find the color of water changes to yellow immediately then it is not pure saffron. Because the original saffron always releases the color very slowly. After 5 minutes you can find golden yellow color water from the pure saffron.
As a matter of fact, in the global market, the usage of saffron is dominantly high in food, medicine, and the cosmetic industry.
Saffron buying guide explains that you can use the saffron in a variety of food recipes like preparing tea, rice, ice cream, chocolate, saffron milk, etc. The saffron can be powdered using the saffron grinder to prepare tea.
On the other hand, you can use the saffron liquid or essence for adding in many food recipes. You can also simply use the threads of saffron for garnishing your recipe. There are several health benefits while you consume saffron on a regular basis.
Qaenat saffron specializes in providing premium quality saffron. We are the wholesale and retail distributors of saffron. We have a worldwide shipping facility and we also provide fast delivery to UAE.