Saffron is one of the most valuable and expensive spices known worldwide, thanks to its color, flavor and medicinal properties.
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus , commonly known as the "saffron crocus". Saffron, long among the world's most costly spices by weight, was probably first cultivated in or near Greece.
Saffron's aroma is often described by connoisseurs as reminiscent of metallic honey with grassy or hay-like notes, while its taste has also been noted as hay-like and sweet. Saffron also contributes a luminous yellow-orange coloring to foods.
Saffron is widely used in Persian, Indian, European, and Arab cuisines. Confectioneries and liquors also often include saffron. Saffron is used in dishes ranging from the jeweled ric e of Iran, the Milanese risotto of Italy, the paella of Spain, the fish soup bouillabaisse of France, to biryani with various meat accompaniments in South Asia and Middle East.
Types of Saffron
Saffron from different producer countries, picked and dried in different ways gives rise to different end qualities.
There are various types of saffron at the global markets and each type may have a specific quality. So it's important to know more about it so that we can determine high quality saffron and also truly compare different products with different prices.
There may be several types of saffron in the world but the most common types are the following:
1. Negin sargol saffron:
This kind of saffron is pure and contains stigma without style like common red saffron. But the remarkable features of this kind is longer and thicker threads (with less broken) than the common saffron and also the Coloring power that is very high (220 - 240USP or more). According to ISO standard for Saffron this kind is classified in to ISO Category I.This type of saffron considered as one of the top quality saffron in the world.
Note: However "ISO category I" is defined the top international score for saffron but in fact "Negin sargol saffron" has higher quality than required quality for ISO category I.
- This type of saffron sometimes may contain a very little yellow part that is considered a common grade of this kind and called "Negin poushal". This grade also has high quality (not highest) but suita-ble price.
- Sargol Saffron (Red Saffron -All red filaments)
2- Sargol Saffron (Red Saffron -All red filaments) This filament type, usually consists of only red parts of stigma ( no style & pollen) with a high power of coloring (220 - 240 USP) and aroma and flavor .
Also this kind of saffron is usually classified in to ISO category I.
2. Poushal Saffron
This kind includes red stigmas with 2 - 5 mm yellow style thread. The color strength is about 180 - 200 USP or even more. So according to ISO standard for Saffron (internati-onal standard organization) it's usually classified in to ISO category I or II. "Poushal" means massive for its volume resulted from the time and method of harvesting. "Poushal" has the same power of coloring and aroma as "All red filaments" type and it usually use for fantasy and luxury packaging.
3. Dasteh Saffron (Bunched Saffron)
This kind usually contains whole natural threads of saffron (red and yellow parts) which is bunched and tied with a string. The Coloring strength of Dasteh is usually about 140-160 USP and classified in to ISO ategory II or III.
4. Risheh or Sefideh Saffron (style threads)
This kind include only the yellow parts of saffron threads with a length of 5 to 15 mm (style). Risheh Saffron contains a good aroma but low coloring strength, so in addition to cooking, it is used in medical industries.
Saffron Health Benefits
- Boosts Cardiovascular Health
- Treats Erectile Dysfunction
- Possesses Potential Anticancer Effects
- Alleviates Symptoms of PMS
- Promotes Satiety and Weight loss
- Treats Anxiety and Depression
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