Monday, 10 January 2011
Our own Indian Kashmiri saffron is considered the best, the 'Mongra' or 'Lacha' saffron, its unique color and flavour. In fact the other day i bought 0.75 gms of Kashmiri saffron for SAR 24 (Rs 288) and another 5g of Iranian zah'faran for SAR 160! Certainly it is one crop we would like to cultivate! I must say saffron is the most adulterated spice in the world, you can get anything ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 400 per gram. Adulteration in saffron started in Europe right in the Middle Ages, where saffron adulterers were executed. Boy would i love it if that rule was good today! Usually, the grades of saffron depend on the part of styles used. Each flower has three stigmas and two stamens.The stigma part collected is the purest quality which is usually deep red or maroon, the stamen is the next quality that has distinct yellow colored strands and the last quality is a potpourri of all mixed together. Finally i got to know, the purest saffron is the deep red stigma, not the yellow stamen.