Saffron is a truly remarkable spice with a very interesting and lengthy backstory. Its history can be traced back as far as the earliest Chinese dynasties and the ancient greeks! This amazing spice is as rich in history as it is exotic.
Before we talk about Saffron, we have to mention how truly amazing the saffron crocus flower is. Producing purple flowers, delicately decorated with fine brush strokes of purple throughout the petals. The 3 pronged stigma protrudes from the centre with a striking crimson colour that contrasts with the rest of the plant. They really stand out amongst other flowers.
Saffron and its uses
The flower is very much a variety that’s captivating, a great addition to your garden and spice rack! The spice was highly sought after by the Ancient Greeks for its aroma, colour and health benefits. As early as 400 BC, Hippocrates wrote about how amazing Saffron was. He even wrote about it being a ‘cure’ for coughs, colds, stomach aches, insomnia and heart problems!
Saffron has been used throughout history, and not just for eating! A single gram can dye roughly 40 litres of water, creating a distinctive yellow hue that has been used by Buddhist monks for many years. In fact, this is still the way they dye their Kāṣāya’s.
The rich, yellow colour of Saffron is reminiscent of gold and it may surprise some that it generally costs more than gold! Typically costing £8- £10 a gram and this is because it requires a human touch. The harvesting process of Saffron requires delicately removing the stigma from the centre. Each flower only produces 3 of these so it requires a lot of flowers to produce a gram, hence the value.
In addition, the delicateness of the flower means that this process has to be done by hand! The spice has always been expensive, even the Ancient Greeks reported the spice to be very expensive and would travel very far to buy their Saffron. Today most of the world’s Saffron is exported from Iran.
We have only scratched the surface of the flower’s story however, it doesn’t stop there. It’s your turn to contribute to history by growing your own Saffron. Our Saffron Crocus Bulbs for sale will not only look stunning growing in your garden, but they will also produce rich stigmas that you can harvest and use in any dish.
In conclusion, these beautiful and delicate looking flowers will look beautiful in flower displays and will be a conversation starter. Similarly, cropping is easy. Simply allow the saffron to grow our alongside the purple flowers and pick as necessary when ready to use in the kitchen.