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Saffron: The Arab spice that conquers the world.

Avatar for Eduardo CabreraWritten by:

When you want to give that exquisite seasoning and appetizing color to foods

saffron

Of the Crocus flowers, their dissected pistils constitute a kind of exquisite flavor and an ideal coloring for paellas. 

Saffron is a companion in the kitchen when you want to give your meals that exquisite seasoning and appetizing color.

Because it is difficult to collect in many countries, it is recognized as the most expensive spice. So also because it is so strong in taste and smell, you should ration it and use it moderately.

Its coloration is so strong that it is preferable in the kitchen to use utensils that are not made of wood, as it easily stains them.

It is commonly used in Ayurveda as an aromatic oil, but also in the typical Hindu cuisine as essential in hundreds of dishes.

Although this spice is oriental in its origins, it was the Arabs who commercialized it widely, being Italy and Spain, and their gastronomy the first and most important beneficiaries.

In some countries, like Spain, Iran and India, people know that saffron is expensive, although it is worth its price and they take advantage of it. To meet demand, annual global production is about 265 tons per year, grown on about 90,000 acres of land (if grown efficiently, each acre produces about 6 pounds of saffron per year).

Saffron grows mainly in arid territory with sandy soil, under hot and dry summers, which often require irrigation.

The high cost of saffron has become an attractive factor for a potential use: as a substitute crop for opium cultivation in Afghanistan. Since Afghanistan is in the ideal growing region for saffron, there is potential for this crop as an economic substitute.

New medical findings associated with this spice.

Iran, the world's largest producer of saffron and Afghanistan's neighbor, has been investing in research on possible medicinal uses of saffron crocus sativus. Much of the work surrounds its traditional application to alleviate depression. Dr. Shahin Akhondzadeh, at Tehran University of Medical Sciences Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital, leads one of the Iranian groups conducting research on saffron, which has studied the use of various drugs and herbs for nervous system disorders, such as the mild depression, ADHD, Alzheimer's disease, autism, opiate dependence and epilepsy.

Clinical findings suggest that saffron is a safe and effective antidepressant. For example, in a randomized study it found that 30 mg of saffron extract (in capsules) given over 6 weeks resulted in significant relief from depression compared to those given placebo, and it did so with no obvious side effects. This study was a follow-up to a preliminary trial in which the same saffron preparation performed as well as imipramine in treating depression.

It is also used in traditional medicine as an important antioxidant to eliminate free radicals, saffron flowers are an excellent digestive in the form of infusion and choleretic. In the case of symptoms of prementrual syndrome, it is an incentive to relieve discomfort.

For people who suffer from high levels of sugar in the blood, it is an excellent ally as it is used as a spice in food on a regular basis.

For celiacs, or gluten intolerant, it is an ideal spice, since it does not contain that molecule that causes so much damage.

After so much beneficial information, whoever conceives a Risotto Or a Paella without a touch of saffron?

Frequently asked questions from our readers:

Saffron is a spice highly valued for its flavor and color, native to Asia Minor and currently cultivated in several countries around the world. It is known as “red gold” due to its high price and is used in cooking to add flavor and color to various dishes. In addition, medicinal properties are attributed to it, such as being an antioxidant and antidepressant. Read more here: https://www.equilibriumx.com/que-es/azafran-especia-de-los-arabes-para-el-mundo
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Saffron is a spice derived from the stigmas of the Crocus sativus flower, commonly known as saffron. It is widely used in cooking due to its distinctive flavor, aroma and deep yellow color.

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Saffron originated in Asia Minor and has been cultivated for thousands of years in Mediterranean regions such as Iran, Greece, Spain and Morocco. Currently, Spain is one of the main saffron producers in the world.

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Saffron is grown from crocus bulbs, which are planted in autumn and bloom in spring. Each saffron flower produces three red stigmas that are harvested by hand. Due to the intensive labor required to grow and harvest it, saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world.

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Saffron has a distinctive flavor and aroma, which is described as floral, earthy and slightly bitter. It provides an intense golden yellow color to the dishes in which it is used. Only a small amount of saffron is needed to add flavor and color to a recipe.

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Saffron is used in a variety of dishes, such as paellas, risottos, stews, soups, sauces and desserts. Before use, saffron threads can be infused in hot water, broth or wine to extract their flavor and color. It can also be ground into powder and added to recipes.

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Saffron has traditionally been used in folk medicine for its supposed health benefits. It is believed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant and aphrodisiac properties. However, more scientific research is needed to confirm these benefits.

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Last modified: 2024-05-20T15:00:58+10:00

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