Saffron spice is the three red stigma of the purple Crocus sativa flower. It is an extremely aromatic spice and although it is red, it is not at all hot. It has a complex flavor and aroma and is described as having a slightly bitter honey like taste. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. Though, because the intense flavor, only a small amount of saffron is needed when cooking.
Depending on the size of the stigma (3/flower), it can take between 70,000 to 200,000 flowers to produce 1 kg of the spice. The cultivation, harvesting and processing of saffron is carried out completely be hand. Adding to the cost of the spice.
Saffron is used to season sweat and savory foods, such as rice, meat and fish dishes. Also cheese, both soft and hard. Saffron has also been an ingredient in ice cream, cakes, and liqueurs.
Close to 170 to 200 tons of saffron are produced each year. The bulk of which is produced by Iran, Greece and Kashmir, followed by Spain.