English Name : Saffron
Common Indian Name (Hindi): Kesar
- Saffron, the world's most expensive spice by weight, is native to Southwest Asia.
- It is derived from the flower of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus), a species of crocus in the family Iridaceae.
- Each purple crocus flower produces three stigmas, which are hand-picked from the blossom, dried, and permitted to ferment slightly to produce saffron.
- Saffron is marked by a bitter taste and an iodoform or hay like fragrance; these result from the chemicals picrocrocin and safranal.
- A carotanoid dye, crocin, allows saffron to impart a rich golden yellow hue to dishes and textiles.
- The saffron crocus (Crocus sativus L.) is sterile and does not set viable seed. Therefore, the crop must be propagated by corm multiplication. Each corm only lasts a single season and is replaced by 1 to 10 cormlets, depending on the original size of the mother corm.
- Saffron used in cooking as a seasoning and coloring agent.
- Saffron, like other herbs and spices, is sensitive to light, so saffron should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. For maximum flavor and to protect it further, wrap the packet in foil. It will not be spoiled, but it will lose increasingly more and more of its flavor with age.