El azafrán

Is a spice from Crocus sativus flower, it belongs to the Iridaceae Family. It is peculiar by its bitter taste and flavoring. These come from its chemical  components: picrocrocin and safranal. Also it contains a carotenoide dye called crocin, which turn the food into a yellow gold shade. This makes the saffron as a very appreciated spicy among many of the dishes in the world.

Saffron is a bulbous plant. So the bulb has from 2 to 3 cm round shape diameter, in grey colour. From each bulb come, between October and November, from one up to three flowers. With a peculiar purple colour. This is known as “The Rose of the Saffron” . Its leafs are thin and long. From the ovary start three yellow stamens and one white filament. The white one is divided in three red stigmas. The saffron used come from those stigmas.

The flowering is made step by step. It last around 20 days. The flowers must be cropped before the sun rise and then the stigmas are gathered. This action consists taking apart the stigmas from the petals. It is a really hard work, to obtain a pound of saffron are needed a minimum of 250.000 flowers…

SAFFRON PROPERTIES
The saffron is very useful for health. Among the most beneficial properties are appetite stimulating,  antispasmodic, for flatulence, antitumour, antidepression, antiparkinson, saffron strengthens the memory, increase the power of concentration, reduces the cardiac disease,…

Due to all these mentioned properties and the unique taste the saffron gives to the food, it is well recognized one of the most expensive spices in the world. Though everyone can afford it, in fact it is needed very few quantity to provide, at the same time, with sweet and bitter taste to  the food.