The history of saffron may be traced back thousands of years. The Greeks are said to have implemented it for its medicinal and therapeutic effects, which include increasing libido, calming the mind, and improving cognitive function. Saffron is also considered a significant herb in Ayurveda, an Indian medical system that has been followed for ages. It has long been an important component in many Indian dishes.
Iran, Morocco, Greece, and India are the primary producers of saffron. It is a delicate plant that thrives in moist, humus-rich soils. Humus is the black, organic material that forms when plant and animal waste decomposes.
Saffron is the most valuable and expensive spice on the planet. In fact, not only is it popular, but it is so treasured and valuable that it costs more than gold. This is due to the time and effort required to harvest it. Crocus Sativus, often known as “Saffron Crocus,” is the source. This crocus has yellow styles with a crimson-red stigma at the end of each one. The combination of yellow style and red stigma distinguishes a saffron thread. Saffron cultivation, as is obvious, necessitates high precision, which is why it is done by hand. After the saffron threads are harvested from the crocus, they are dried, and the result is a fragrant, flavorful saffron.
Anxiety and depression, Alzheimer’s disease, menstrual cramps, premenstrual syndrome, and inflammation are among the many medicinal effects of saffron. It also has a pleasant aroma that is utilized in the production of fragrances.
It is important to be able to distinguish between real and fake saffron, for there are many kinds in the market. Only genuine saffron will be beneficial for you, here’s how to identify which saffron is pure –
- Look at the saffron branches first to tell the difference between real and artificial saffron. This is the simplest method for determining whether or not saffron is authentic. Saffron has three branches, the most prominent of which resembles a trumpet. You’ll notice that the trumpet becomes narrower as you move upwards.
- Saffron has a wonderful scent. It has a distinct aroma, and if you’ve ever smelled real saffron, you’ll never forget it. It doesn’t smell particularly sweet. Saffron has both a sweet and bitter aroma. Take a sniff of the saffron you intend to purchase to ensure it is real.
- Feel the saffron with your fingertips to see if it leaves an orangish-yellow tinge on your skin; if it does, it is authentic saffron.
One must also know the characteristics of fake saffron so that it becomes easier to identify which is pure –
Fake saffron threads will immediately leak out their inorganic red pigment and crumble when soaked in water. In warm water, real saffron will stay unchanged and release a uniform and constant yellow tinge in the water.
The fake saffron test water will either be flavourless or have a sharp bitter aftertaste. Genuine saffron has a distinct floral aroma, and the test water will have a fragrant and woody flavour, similar to what you’d expect from saffron.