Spanning an illustrious history of over 3000 years, the crimson hued saffron was once the choice of spice for kings, pharaohs and emperors. But these royal leaders were not planning to have a meal with saffron they were more interested in its alleged aphrodisiacal qualities, and because of that, they valued it more than gold.
In today's culture, saffron is still a highly prized commodity for its medicinal properties and for its culinary applications. This beautiful spice comes from the crocus flower that produces tiny thread-like slivers called stigmas and are considered one of the most expensive spices in the world. It can command from $1,500 to $2,000 per pound. But that is for someone who is buying saffron for commercial purposes. For us home-chefs, you can buy much smaller quantities of saffron threads, and the good thing is, you only need to use a few threads at a time when cooking your specific dish. Continue reading