Saffron Price in India: The Richest of all Spices!
The most delicious and precious of all spices is the Kashmiri Saffron, which contributes to approximately 90 percent of Saffron products made on the planet.
Unlike their Iranian counterpart, Kashmiri Saffron has thick fibers and an intense aroma. Being a diverse nation, Indians know Saffron by various names such as Kesar in Hindi, Zafran in Urdu, and Kong Posh in Kashmiri.
The Mughals were quite fond of Saffron and would take it wherever they established their court and add it to their diet.
The Mughals made Saffron a common sight in royal kitchens, which made our beloved rice-dish Biryani a sensation! Saffron was also used in lamb dishes as well as Sheermal- a delicious, deep-fried Saffron bread eaten today in Lucknow.
In Northern India, the then Mughal capital, Saffron is sprinkled on fruit sherbets, Phirni, a type of rice pudding eaten all across India.
Saffron is not only used as a spice but also a natural food dye. Saffron Kesar According to a legend, Iran was the first Asian country to cultivate Saffron approximately three thousand years ago.
Did you know how old Kashmiri Saffron is? Kashmiri Saffron can be traced all the way back to the eighth century. A legend suggests that the wandering Sufi Saints from Kesar to Kashmir.
However, some claim that the Kashmiris have used Saffron since ancient times since ancient Hindu texts mention Saffron.
Kashmiri Kahwa is an upgraded version of Green tea
Kesar in Old Hindu Text
According to old text Lord Krishna used to have a TIlak a mark on Forehead of Saffron Kesar that is current Kashmiri Saffron so that means it was in Kashmir in those old days of Mahabharata also.
According to old text Indian Buddhist saint arhat by the name of Madhyantika (or Majjhantika) has visited Kashmir in the 5th century BC.
Once he arrived he sowed the first Kashmiri saffron crop. From there, saffron started to spread throughout the Indian subcontinent.
Since Saffron is quite expensive, many con-men try to cheat their buyers by selling adulterated Saffron. There are several ways you can use to make sure your Saffron is genuine.
- Fragrance: The distinct scent of Saffron helps in differentiating between genuine and counterfeit Saffron. Saffron has a sweet aroma but a bitter taste.
- Color: You can also soak a few strands of Saffron in water to test its genuineness. Saffron turns the water red without losing its color simultaneously. Counterfeit Saffron loses its beautiful red hue and turns white when soaked in water.
- Packaging and price: Saffron is usually sold in small packaging. If you are getting the world's priciest spice in bulk at a ridiculously low price, something's probably wrong with it.
Saffron sold in large and inexpensive packages are usually the Mexican kind made with marigolds or Calendula petals. They are beautiful and even dye your food, but they do not taste like Saffron.
Ever wondered why Saffron costs a fortune? Saffron is pricey because of its production process.
Crocus Sativus - Saffron Crocus
Crocus Sativus is a vulnerable plant that blossoms only once a weak each year. Saffron thrives at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level.
Photo-period, the amount a plant is exposed to sunlight, plays a vital role in Saffron's blooming. Saffron crocus or Crocus Sativus is the same with different names
Saffron requires an eleven-hour exposure time. High humidity during flowering impacts the blooming of the flower. Low temperature facilitates the flowering of Saffron. Loamy, sandy, graveled soil with a low amount of acidity is the best for Crocus Sativa.
The stigmata and red pistils are dried after plucking to retain their color and flavor. Now, these stigmas are a tiny part of the plant.
Therefore it takes 75,000 Crocus Sativa flowers to produce a pound of the spice. Also, Saffron must always be handpicked from the Crocus Sativa flower, which grows just two inches from the ground and contains three maroon stems or stigmas which are needed to be plucked.
Such a dedicated and tedious production process is why Saffron banks such a high-cost in the market.
Saffron is packed with benefits. Multiple studies suggest that it improves mood, reduces PMS symptoms, and accelerates the weight loss process. Saffron has been an inseparable part of Greek, Chinese and Indian goods, be it medicines or cosmetics or perfumes, for ages!
We at alphonsomango.in has direct connect with farmers in Pampore in Kashmir. This Pure Saffron which is handpicked and sorted directly at our labs are GI tag certified Kashmiri Saffron.