Saffron is one of the most valuable spices in the world, selling for more than $500 per ounce because it has a complicated production. Each flower has three small pens in the center. These must be carefully removed and dried. To prepare one kilogram of saffron, saffron growers have to pick 500,000 saffron flowers from the ground one by one and slowly, considering that the harvest season of this product is autumn and the weather is cold, and the harvesting work becomes more difficult. This plant needs protection against certain pests and diseases as well as rodents and herbivores. Saffron growers should be aware that frost in cold weather or excessive plating can cause frostbite.
Research on saffron at the University of the United States has identified saffron (the dried stigma of the saffron plant) as the most expensive spice in the world. the high value of saffron is not only because of the color and the taste it gives to various foods and beverages but also because of its many different uses.
Why is it expensive?
Most of the saffron cultivation process is done manually. The whole process after planting is done by hand. Products with the highest value and high shelf life compared to other agricultural products. The maximum workforce required is about four weeks in mid-autumn each year (October and November). A large number of saffron products are produced that have high added value; Including saffron honey, oil with saffron aroma and taste, saffron flavored syrup, and…
Areas under saffron cultivation in the world: According to research by the Portland Institute of Traditional Medicine, Oregon, USA, today Iran is known as the main producer of saffron in the world and accounts for about 85% of world production. Spain is the second-largest producer in the world and the first international distributor of saffron. Other countries such as Portugal, France, Italy, and Turkey are among the smaller producers. Kashmir has also started large-scale production but is not yet recognized as a major source of production. A number of Chinese provinces have also started producing this valuable plant. In addition to the countries mentioned, other countries such as Greece, Morocco, Germany, Japan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Egypt, the United Kingdom, and the United States are next in terms of production. The main problem in saffron production is that this plant grows in desert areas but needs enough water to survive. Irrigation is costly and difficult in many of the areas mentioned. Severe droughts can cause significant damage to this crop. According to statistics, more than 80,000 hand flowers must be picked and processed to produce one pound of saffron.
Saffron for home use is usually sold in half-gram packs of $8 to $12. This is enough for 5 to 10 recipes so it is not too expensive for each meal. in the chart below you can see the list of most expensive saffron types based on their regional harvest.