Crocus sativus Saffron has the distinction of being the world's most expensive spice and for good reason. Saffron comes from a small purple crocus also know as autumn crocus. This crocus only produces three stigma and these must be picked by hand and then dried. It takes over 14,000 stigma to make an ounce of saffron. With saffron, luckily, a little goes a long way. Saffron has a remarkable fragrance, aromatic flavor, and golden color. Thousands of years ago it was not only used in foods, but it was also used in medicines and to dye cloth. A native of Persia, it spread to northern India and the Mediterranean by the 10th century. It came to Europe following the Crusades. Just enough in a dish and the flavor is superb. Just add two to three stigma too many and suddenly the dish is bitter. It can be used in foods for both flavor and color. It is best if crushed just prior to use. You should also infuse it into your other ingredients. You may also want to strain the stigma once you have a golden solution from them, as they will stain whatever food rests against them. It can make rice blotchy looking for example. It is best infused in as much liquid as your recipe calls for. This liquid should be very hot but not boiling. the more liquid the further the flavor will go.
If you are a restaurateur or caterer and you are looking for a special formulation to enhance an item on your menu, please contact us and see if we might be able to help. Because of the high cost of Saffron, we offer it both per gram and per ounce. This price is per gram.