PERSIAN SAFFRON


ABOUT SAFFRON


WHAT IS SAFFRON?

LIKE MOST EUROPEAN SPICES, SAFFRON COMES FROM THE ARABIC ZA'FRAN "BE YELLOW". THE NAMES OF HINDI AND SANSKRIT WERE DERIVED FROM THE NORTH INDIAN REGION OF KASHMIR, WHERE OLD SAFFRON WAS MADE. SAFFRON IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE SPICE IN THE WORLD. IN PRODUCTION COUNTRIES, THE PRICE IS MUCH LOWER, BUT ALSO THE QUALITY. SAFFRON SCENT IS UNIQUE AND CANNOT BE REPLACED. SAFFRON IS A SLENDER, DRIED, REDDISH-BROWN, FLATTENED STIGMA OF THE SMALL CROCUS OF THE IRIS FAMILY.

SAFFRON IS GROWN FROM THE WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (SPAIN) TO INDIA (KASHMIR). SAFFRON IS ALSO GROWN ON A MUCH SMALLER SCALE IN ITALY AND GREECE (CRETE). OF THE WESTERN AND CENTRAL ASIAN GROWING REGIONS, PERSIA IS THE MOST PRODUCTIVE AND, TOGETHER WITH SPAIN AND PERSIA, PRODUCES MORE THAN 80% OF WORLD PRODUCTION. SAFFRON GROWN IN INDIA - KASHMIR HAS A PARTICULARLY GOOD REPUTATION, BUT IS HARDLY AVAILABLE OUTSIDE INDIA. SAFFRON BLOSSOM IS MORE IMPORTANT IN CENTRAL ASIA AND NORTHERN INDIA AND IS WIDELY USED FOR RICE DISHES. EVEN NORTH INDIAN BIRYANIS ARE ENCHANTED BY THE FRAGRANT AND AROMATIC TASTE ADDED BY SAFFRON. INDIAN SWEETS SUCH AS KHEER, RAS MALAI, INDIAN YOGURT DRINK (LASSI), BUTTER LASSI (MAKHANIYA LASSI) HAVE AN ETERNAL CULINARY IMPRESSION THANKS TO THE ADDED SAFFRON. THE USE OF SAFFRON IN SWEET FOODS IS WELL KNOWN IN THE DESERT REGIONS OF JODHPUR IN RAJASTHAN ON THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT. SAFFRON IS UNIQUE AMONG SPICES DUE TO ITS AROMA. IT IS SOLUBLE IN WATER AND, WHEN ADDED TO A BOWL, PROVIDES A CLEAN AND HOMOGENEOUS COLOR. AT HIGH DOSES, SAFFRON HAS TOXIC PROPERTIES. HOWEVER, DUE TO THE HIGH PRICE, SAFFRON POISONING IS VERY RARE.

SAFFRON, OFTEN CALLED THE "GOLDEN SPICE", HAS A HISTORY ROOTED IN ANTIQUITY. IT HAS ALWAYS MAINTAINED A VERY SPECIAL PLACE FOR ITS EXTRAORDINARY HEALING AND AROMATIC PROPERTIES, AS WELL AS FOR ITS STRIKING YELLOW DYE. INDIAN SAFFRON IS GROWN ON A LARGE SCALE IN THE JAMMU AND KASHMIR VALLEYS, WHOSE COOL DRY CLIMATE AND RICH SOIL WITH EXCELLENT RUNOFF AND ORGANIC CONTENT MAKE THE PLACE AN IDEAL THRIVING SOIL FOR THIS SPICE. BY ANY STANDARD, INDIAN SAFFRON IS CONSIDERED BETTER THAN ITS FOREIGN COUNTERPARTS.

SAFFRON FLOWER IS A WELL-KNOWN FLOWER PLANT THAT BELONGS TO THE IRIDACEOUS BOTANICAL FAMILY. THE SPICE MADE FROM THE DRIED STIGMA OF THE SAFFRON CROCUS FLOWER IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE MOST EXPENSIVE SPICE IN THE WORLD. THE PLANT HAS VARIOUS USES, INCLUDING CULINARY AND MEDICINAL, AND IS FOUND QUITE EXTENSIVELY THROUGHOUT INDIA. THE ORIGINS OF SAFFRON DATE BACK MORE THAN 3,000 YEARS AND ARE MENTIONED IN VARIOUS HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS FOUND IN MEDITERRANEAN, ASIAN AND EUROPEAN COUNTRIES. CHINESE HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS OF THE 3RD CENTURY AD MENTIONED SAFFRON AS A KASHMIRI ORIGIN.

INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGES ​​• BOTANICAL NAME: CROCUS SATIVUS L • SURNAME: IRIDACEAE • BUSINESS PART: STIGMA • ARABIC: SAPPHIRE • CHINESE: FAN HUNG-HUA • DUTCH: SAFFRAAN • FRENCH: SAFRAN • GERMAN: SAFRAN • ITALIAN: ZAFFERANO • JAPANESE: SAFURAN • PORTUGUESE: ACOFRAO • RUSSIAN: SHAFRAN • SPANISH: AZAFRAN • SWEDISH: SAFFRAN • BENGALI: JAFRAN • GUJARATI: KESHAR • HINDI: ZAFFRAN • KANNADA: KUMNKUMA KESARI • KASHMIRI: KONG • MALAYALAM: KUNKUMAPOOVE • MARATHI: KESAR, KESJ , ZAFRAN • SANSKRIT I: KESHARA, KUNKUMA • SANSKRIT II: ARUNA, ASRA, ASRIKA • TAMIL KUNGUMAPOO • URDU ZAFRAN, JAFRANEKAR

HISTORY OF SAFFRON ACCORDING TO GREEK MYTHOLOGY ABOUT SAFFRON, THE BEAUTIFUL MORTAL CROCUS CROCOS FELL IN LOVE WITH THE BEAUTIFUL FAIRY SMILAX. BUT UNFORTUNATELY, HIS KINDNESS WAS REJECTED BY SMILAX AND HE TURNED INTO A BEAUTIFUL PURPLE CROCUS FLOWER. IRAN ACCOUNTS FOR ALMOST 94% OF WORLD PRODUCTION, WITH THE VAST MAJORITY MADE IN THE COUNTRY'S SOUTHERN REGIONS. ACCORDING TO OTHER HISTORICAL ARTICLES, SAFFRON WAS BROUGHT TO INDIA BY THE PERSIAN RULER AROUND 500 BC ONCE THE PERSIAN RULERS CONQUERED KASHMIR, THEY TRANSPLANTED AN PERSIAN SAFFRON FLOWER OR CROCUS TUBERS ON KASHMIR LANDS. ACCORDING TO AN ANCIENT CHINESE HISTORICAL ACCOUNT, AN ARHANT INDIAN BUDDHIST MISSIONARY NAMED MADHYANTIKA (OR MAJJHANTIKA) SENT THE FIRST KASHMIRI HARVEST OF SAFFRON WHEN IT WAS SENT TO KASHMIR IN THE 5TH CENTURY BC. SAFFRON CULTIVATION AND USE ARE THOUGHT TO BE SPREADING THROUGH THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT IN KASHMIR.

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