Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the saffron crocus. Each saffron crocus grows 8–12 inches and bears up to four flowers, each with three vivid crimson stigmas. The dried stigmas are used mainly in various cuisines as a seasoning and coloring agent. Saffron, long among the world’s most costly spices by weight, is native to Southwest Asia and was first cultivated in Greece. Saffron’s aroma is often described as reminiscent of metallic honey with grassy or hay-like notes. Saffron also contributes a luminous yellow-orange coloring to foods. It is widely used in European, Arab, South and Central Asian, Persian, and Turkish cuisines.
Persian Saffron is a more exotic variety that is harder to find and is of top quality, with a crocin content between 235-290, this is of the highest quality. It takes more than 1,500 stigmas (from more than 4,600 crocus flowers) to make just 1 ounce of Saffron Threads.