What is Saffron?

Saffron is a plant with scientific name of “Crocus Sativies” from (Iridaceae) Family which called “Health Flower, King of spices and Red Gold”. This plant of several years of age has small onion, almost Spherical and covered with brown colored membrane. This plant is native of different location of Asia, especially southwest of Asia, south of Europe and south of Spain.

At the months of October up to End the flowers at the number of one up to three appears at each stem, the colour of flowers are violet and having one petal. The usable part of the plant in the name of Saffron exists at the trade market, the end of stigma and cream of flowers (Madegi) which is Reddish-orange colour.

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Types of saffron

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Negin

Although Persian Sargol is considered as the premium saffron, there is another variation of Sargol Saffron. If three stigma threads are attached together and form a cluster, this type of saffron is called Negin. Since production of Negin saffron is an extremely delicate and precise manual skill, it is the most expensive type of saffron and very limited to offer. The ISO reading of Negin is usually more than 270.

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Sargol(All Red)

This grade consists of ONLY dark red stigma tips and has the highest quality compared to the other types. Sargol saffron is the pure saffron with no broken stand and has the ISO reading of 260-270. Due to accumulation of saffron`s active components in stimas, Persian Sargol has a very strong arom and rich coloring capacity.

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Pushal(Mancha)

Pushal saffron is the stigma part of the plant attached to a 1-3 mm style end. According to ISO 3632 system, this type falls into grade II category that has a color reading of up to 250. Although Pushal does not have Sargol`s pure texture and premium quality, but some consumers prefer to purchase Iranian Pushal to be assured of saffron validity and authenticity.

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Khooshe(Bunch)

This grade is relatively low strength grade (ISO reading is 70 to 75) and consists of red stigmata plus large amount of yellow style, presented in a tiny bundle.

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KONJ(KONGE)

This grade consists of only yellow-white styles and has a very little aroma and coloring potential.

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Saffron Powder

Although Saffron powder is not a grade of Saffron, it is prepared by fine grinding of Sargol, Pushal and Bunch parts of the plant. This product has a slightly lighter color compared to Sargol and Pushal and its coloring capacity is obviously less. The manufacturing process is done by superior technology to avoid loss of Persian saffron`s quality. Saffron powder can be easily adultered and mixed with other ingredients such as artificial dye and turmeric, so it has always to be obtained from trusted source.

How to use saffron?

Saffron is painstakingly hand-harvested from the Crocus sativus flower, dried, and sold as the the most expensive spice by weight. Adding a small amount to certain recipes can give food a rich, pungent taste. Saffron may also offer various health and beauty benefits, but the evidence is largely unverified.

The process of crushing and soaking saffron releases the maximum amount of flavor from the threads, so it’s strongly recommended.

1. Take the saffron threads you intend to use for the recipe and crush them into a powder using a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can crumble the threads in between your fingers.

2. Steep the crushed saffron in warm water, stock, milk, or white wine for 20 to 30 minutes. If there’s any liquid in your recipe, use a small amount of the specified liquid from the instructions.

3. Add the saffron and soaking liquids directly to your recipe when called for Use a small amount. In large qualities, saffron will produce a bitter flavor. It’s best to prepare and use very small amounts in your dishes.

Types of saffron consumption

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Desserts

Since saffron has a flavor profile similar to vanilla, it works well in many desserts that typically feature vanilla as the primary flavor. This includes custard, plain pastry, and sweet breads.

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Medicinal

Under the guidance of a physician, you could take a pure, high-quality saffron extract to help treat Alzheimer’s disease, depression, menstrual discomfort, or premenstrual syndrome.

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Skin glow

Topical applications of saffron are traditionally used to lighten, brighten, and clear skin. The exact application procedure will vary based on its intended purpose, though.

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Saffron milk

Aside from being a tasty beverage, saffron milk is commonly believed to help brighten your complexion when routinely enjoyed several times a week.

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