Where does saffron originally come from?

Saffron spice: origin and use

The saffron spice is a luxury good par excellence: Hardly any spice is more expensive than the precious saffron threads from the bulb flower. Here you can find out where saffron originally comes from and what it is used for.

Saffron Spice: The Red Gold

The saffron spice is one of the most expensive spices in the world: 1 kilogram of saffron is sold for 4,000 euros on the market. The price is based on the enormous amount of work that is necessary for the production of the "red gold".

Because the spice is obtained from the red to purple-colored pistils of the saffron crocus, which have to be hand-picked from the calyxes and then dried. 250,000 saffron threads have to be harvested to produce 1 kilogram of saffron spice.

Origin of the saffron spice

Saffron comes from the lily family and was originally native to the Near East. From there, the precious onion flower began its triumphal march to Europe. The plant was first cultivated in Persia and Greece in the first century BC: There the saffron threads were considered a royal luxury spice, remedy and dye.

In ancient Rome, the spice was scattered on the streets as a symbol of wealth during triumphal procession. Today the onion flower is grown in Afghanistan, Iran and Kashmir, as well as in the Mediterranean, Austria and Switzerland.

Use of saffron threads

The saffron spice is particularly popular because of its culinary properties: the tart, slightly bitter to spicy aroma of the saffron threads gives dishes a unique taste and also gives them a pretty yellow color.

Whether spicy in light sauces, bouillons, hearty rice, fish and meat dishes or sweet in pastries and baked goods: the uses of the saffron spice are almost unlimited.