The spice saffron comes from Crocus sativus, a domesticated species of crocus flower that likely descends from Crocus cartwrightianus, which originated in Greece thousands of years ago.
Historically, saffron has always been valued as worth its weight in gold—literally. Saffron is still sold by weight today and is still the world’s most expensive spice. A popular seasoning in Greek and Indian cuisines, the delicate threads are typically soaked in hot (but not boiling) water for a few minutes before using to enhance flavor.
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If you’ve ever enjoyed Indian cuisine, you’ve probably eaten saffron. It’s a very popular culinary herb in Indian cooking. In addition, it is used in Greek and Italian food. It was also used as a dye for beauty products.
Saffron is a perennial herb. It is native to India and the Mediterranean region. It is also cultivated in other parts of Europe and the Middle East. It has purple flowers and red stigmas. The stigmas and styles are harvested only during fall Season.