A little saffron can go a very long way — just ask your doctor. Everyone from chefs to physicians are starting to understand the power of this spice, which has made it quite the commodity. It‘s often referred to as “red gold" because it’s the most expensive spice in the world. And just by looking at its vibrant red color, you can tell that it’s pretty special. But the brilliance of saffron goes much deeper than its beautiful hue. This stuff can have a remarkable impact on your health.
An old favorite
Saffron has enriched people's diets for centuries — perhaps even millennia. And if we go back as far as ancient times, we’ll find people all over the world consuming the earthy spice, and not just for the sake of adding flavor to dishes, though it certainly did that. No, people used this incredible spice as medicine, too.
A miracle worker
No one knows for sure where saffron was first cultivated, but Iran seems like the most likely candidate. People living in this area long ago made great use of the spice. If they wanted to raise their spirits, they’d have some saffron. If they wanted to enhance their memories, they’d have some saffron. If they wanted to improve their performance in the bedroom, you guessed it — they had some saffron.
Nowadays, of course, saffron doesn’t come cheap. According to some measures, it’s actually the costliest spice around. But that makes sense when you consider how it’s harvested. Basically, the red strands we’re looking for when we talk about saffron come from a flowering plant known as Crocus sativus. To get these strands, people pick them using their bare hands. It’s extremely labor intensive.
It has a unique flavor
Nonetheless, saffron is widely available. And if it’s in your meal, you'll recognize it instantly. It has a unique taste that’s easy to pinpoint but difficult to describe. Some would say it’s a little sweet, others would say it tastes a bit flowery, and a few people would shrug and say it tastes like the earth. It’s not really comparable to anything else, and that's exactly what makes it so valuable outside of the kitchen, too!