Saffron is the most expensive spice on the market. The saffron flower has 6 purple petals, 3 golden yellow stamens and one red pistil which shows as 3 stigmas (filaments). It is the dried stigma of the flower which gives the spice saffron. The reason it is so expensive is because it comes from the saffron crocus bulb (Crocus sativus) which is an autumn blooming purple flower that originated in Greece.
Here are the three simple reasons it’s so expensive — and worth it.
- The weather. Growing saffron is not easy. It thrives in extreme temperatures, both cold and hot, so every variation in the climate can affect its growth. It grows well in areas that have cold Winters and warm, dry Summers.
- The harvest. Saffron grows inside crocus flowers, and it has to be handpicked — a very difficult, time-consuming task.
- The scarcity. For one gram of saffron, you need almost 400 flowers! Long, deep-red threads have the most flavor, too, so chances that every flower delivers a perfect product are slim. Each flower only produces 3 stigmas, So it will take about 75,000 crocus flowers to make 1 pound of saffron.
Now that you understand the work that goes into that small jar at the supermarket, perhaps you’ll appreciate it a lot more. Plus, an ounce will last you a long time, so it’s 100 percent worth the buy.