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Saffron is the golden stigma of the purple fall flower, with Botanical name of Crocus Sativus belonging to the family Iridacease, known as saffron crocus and bears up to four flowers, each with three precious extra long, vivid Crimson stigmas. These three stigmas found in the blossoms of this botanical crocus called threads, are collected and dried to be used for culinary, medicinal, therapeutic, perfuming and pigmentation purposes. It takes 225,000 stigmas to make one pound (453 gr.) of saffron. The value of saffron is derived from the fact that it is such a labor intensive product.

Although the origins of saffron are disputed, Iran is regarded as being one of the earliest countries to cultivate saffron due favorable topography and weather conditions. Iran now accounts for approximately 93% of the world production of saffron. The approximate 7% remainder of saffron producers are Spain, Afghanistan, Portugal, France, Italy, Turkey and Kashmir.

Saffron recorded history is attested in a 7th. Century BC Assyrian Botanical reference under Ashurbanipal. Documentation of saffron’s use over the span of 4000 years in the treatment of some 90 illnesses has been uncovered. Saffron based pigments have indeed been found in 50,000 year-old depictions of prehistoric places in Northeast Iran. Ancient Persians cultivated saffron in Isfahan and Khorasan by the 10th Century BC. Alexander the Great used Persian Saffron in his infusions, rice, and bath as a curative for battle wounds.
 
Saffron contains more than 150 volatile compounds, it’s intense orange color, mild, slightly sweet – but – earthy taste and unique aroma attributed primarily to crocins, picrocrocin and safranal, respectively.