Saffron is one the oldest medicinal herbs known to mankind. It is still being used in certain parts of the world, such as India. Stigmas were believed to have the ability to make strong dye and could thus be used to treat many diseases. Europeans are thought to have been the first to use saffron in their cooking. Saffron can also be used in religious ceremonies.
Saffron can be dangerous if you buy it. Sometimes, it is mixed with other spices. True saffron can be expensive and have a deep orange-brownish color. The red threads of saffron are the ones that can be colored. This is not true for the yellow sections of lower-grade saffron. Whole saffron threads are better than powdered saffron. The curative properties of whole saffron threads are better and have a stronger flavor.
Saffron is the most expensive spice Organic Saffron in all of the world. Dishonest traders would add similar ingredients to increase their saffron’s weight, or dye the lower quality saffron strands to make it red. This is an indication of high quality saffron. Pure saffron is only made up of the stigma from the Crocus flower.
Red saffron older than ten years is considered poor quality. Aroma is the next criteria. The aroma of old saffron can lose its pungent smell and sometimes, it may not have any aroma at all. Good quality saffron has a pleasant aroma and is reddish in color. This does not necessarily mean that any pure saffron with some yellow in is bad saffron. It’s just not as powerful as saffron which is entirely red. Some people prefer saffron that has yellow in it. In fact, it is not saffron to them if it does not contain any yellow.
Fresh saffron is saffron less than one-year old. It is sometimes called baby saffron. The current crop year produces the best quality saffron. Pure saffron strands made from the yellow and red parts of the stigma are more potent than pure saffron that is only composed of the red portion of the stigma. However, saffron that is composed of both red and yellow parts of the stigma is not dyed as it is more expensive to dye them partially.