The saffron or crocus saffron is a spice derived from the homonym plant. It is considered one of the most expensive spices in the world. The vivid crimson threads of the flower are handpicked and dried and this makes for the reason this spice is so pricey.
Saffron has an incredibly unique aroma that is described as metallic honey with hay-like notes and the taste is also sweet and hay-like. This beautiful spice is mostly used in cooking and confectionery. It is added in rice, chicken, legumes, vegetables, in yogurt dip and even sweets. It is also used to dye food like rice and sweets, as it gives a light golden-yellow hue. It is advised that the portion of saffron that is going to be used in cooking is steeped in water prior to cooking, because the intensity of the flavor can alter the taste of the rest of the dish.
This “magical” spice has not earned its fame without reason. It is a potent medicinal plant with a variety of uses. Saffron contains vitamin B12, lycopene, zeaxanthins, a-b carotene, vitamin C, iron, potassium and magnesium. It can help with heartburn, it can alleviate kidney pain, it has antiaging, antidepressant and anticancer properties. It can also strengthen brain activity and memory, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, soothe the pulmonary system. Lastly, it is considered a strong aphrodisiac.