Andrew dalby, who has gathered information from sources in many languages, explores each spice, interweaving its general history with the story of its. However, this spice was also used in ancient times as a cure to cataracts. Human cultivation and use of saffron spans more than 3,500 years and extends across cultures, continents, and civilizations. History of saffron crocus sativus the spice saffron. In the complete guide to saffron below, we will explore where saffron originates from, why it is so expensive, how it is harvested, how to use saffron, where to buy saffron in more.
Grow and harvest your own saffron gardening mother. Used by worldclass chefs, food connoisseurs and unmatched in quality. Newly published scientific studies demonstrate its ability to improve visual acuity and to improve sensitivity of the retina to light in people with early macular degeneration. John thorne, author of outlaw cook and pot on the fire. The dried stigmas of the plant crocus sativus iridaceae are processing to produce saffron as a wellknown spice which has some other importance in pharmaceutics, cosmetics, perfumery, and textile dyeproducing industries. Frescoes dating back in 1600 bc found in knossos, greece and another one from 1500 bc in santorini, greece, respectively portrayed the whole process of saffron harvest and finally making an offering in a ritual worship, and young girls and monkeys plucking saffron filaments. Pat willards book, though it does offer a number of saffronrich recipes, is primarily a history of the spice and its travels. It is believed that it was first cultivated somewhere near persia, and then propagated through trade channels to other areas such as eurasia, north africa and north america. Saffron can be found in cave art in mesopotamia, in the frescoes of ancient santorini, in the dyed wrappings of egyptian mummies, in the saffronhued robes of buddhist monks, and in unmistakable dishes. Saffron, spices saffron, saffron seasoning, saffrons. Saffron spice is still widely used around the world as a fabric dye, particularly in china and india. On spice book by caitlin penzeymoog official publisher. Thus, saffron threads would be scattered across beds and mixed into hot teas as a curative for bouts of melancholy. Saffron is painstakingly handharvested from the crocus sativus flower, dried, and sold as the the most expensive spice by weight.
Saffron was used to dye the woolen bolero jackets worn by minoan women. Saffron is often synonymous with myrrh, cinnamon and frankincense. Saffron is mysterious to most people, even experienced cooks, and for many an acquired taste. Saffron is one of the rarest spices in the world, and is used commonly in spanish paella, italian risotto, french bouillabaisse, arabic lamb, italian sauces. From anise to zedoary reveals the amazing history of spices both familiar and esoteric.
Saffron deepens the flavors of cumin, coriander, and caramelized vegetables while contributing an addictive aroma. The origins of the recipe are lost in the eighteenthcentury legends, in the days of the construction of the milan cathedral. Explore the dramatic history of the worlds most expensive spice in saffron. The vivid crimson stigma and styles, called threads, are collected and dried for use mainly as a seasoning and colouring agent in food. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. An overview on saffron, phytochemicals, and medicinal.
But then i probably wouldnt have picked it up either. Saffron is a culinary spice derived from parts of the crocus crocus sativus flower. Saffron saffron, crocus sativus linnaeus, is a genus in the family iridaceae. Saffron risotto risotto milanese recipe recipes from italy. Arab female novelists charlotte bronte cross cultural literary device eapgroup eapgroup international media elaine showalter feminism feminist consciousness feminist critical movement hanan al shaykh korean conflict korean history korean peninsula layla al othman nawal al saadawi north korea saffron books sarah grand scales in softness and. Where saffron comes from and the story of its origin is integral to understanding the herb and its intricate history. If the title was an inquiry into the history and uses of spices and their impact on human development trade, i would not have rated it so poorly. Stop in to see all of our fresh, high quality seasonings. The history of saffron from queen cleopatra to alexander. It began being used in the middle east and then branched out to conquer hearts worldwide, being utilized as a food seasoning, perfume, hair and clothes dye, and as a medicinal herb. On spice by caitlin penzeymoog a revealing look at the history and production of spices, with modern, nononsense advice on using them at homesalt, saffron. Told in sumptuous prose, complete with ancient and modern recipes, secrets of saffron will awaken an appreciation of this most precious spice. Literally worth their weight in gold, sunsetred saffron threads are prized internationally.
Saffron is an economically important multipurpose crop that is used as a spice, to obtain dye and perfumes, and in the development of new drugs by pharmacists in relation to human health from ancient civilizations to present time in history. Ancient origins articles related to ancient spice in the sections of history, archaeology, human origins, unexplained, artifacts, ancient places and myths and legends. Saffron has a strong historical presence that dates back to grecoroman times. Since its first documentation in the 7th century bc, the long and interesting history of saffron spice traces back over 4000 years and traverses many civilizations, countries, and cultures. Saffron is a delicious and colorful seasoning that is used in breads, desserts, and main dishes in many parts of the world, from england to india, from the middle east to scandinavia, and all around the mediterranean. Saffron, a spice derived from the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus crocus. To be known as such, this quaint city must have grown saffron crocus on a large scale, or the cultivation of the spice plant. It is used in many mediterranean and asian dishes, particularly rice and fish, and in breads in parts of europe. Considered one of the most prized and covetable plants on the planet, saffron is the 24karat gold of spices. This results in high costs for the highquality strands of this spice.
Saffron has a strong, exotic aroma and a bitter taste. Saffron has been used in turkish literature and culture most often, and this shows how important this. Grow and harvest your own saffron, enjoying not just the beautiful blooms in the garden, but also incorporating the bright stigmas in your cooking. John oconnells erudite chapters combine history with insights into art, religion, medicine, science, and is richly seasoned with anecdotes and recipes. Recently, reports about the pharmacological activity of this. The spice trade, a taste of adventure from the economist is a fascinating accounting of how the history of the spice trade is the history of commerce and modern civilization spices, or the dawn of the modern age from tastes of paradise, a social history of spices, stimulants and intoxicants. We supply to individuals for home use, professional chefs, restaurants and the catering industry so whether you are looking for just 1g saffron or a. Harvesting saffron is an extremely laborintensive process. Pat willards enticing exploration of the exotic spice saffron d. Pat willards book, though it does offer a number of saffronrich recipes, is.
Exotic saffron was brought to spain by arabs and this pungent orange spice soon became a favorite of chefs all across the world. The stigmas of the flower are harvested and processed by hand which is very labor intensive and the reason why saffron is considered the worlds most expensive spice. The history of saffron is a bit complicated as some argue that it originated in asia while others say saffron was first cultivated in crete and greece. Saffron, goldencolored, pungent stigmas of the autumn crocus, which are dried and used as a spice to flavor foods and as a dye. By weight, saffron is commonly one of the most costly herbs. Without it, an indian curry or a spanish paella just wouldnt be the same. Our saffron originates in spain, where the best saffron in the world is produced and in where it plays a central role in traditional dishes like the classic paella and bouillabaisse. Though plov isnt always made with saffron its often seen as too humble for such luxury, its one of my favorite applications for the spice. Ancient origins articles related to crocus in the sections of history, archaeology, human origins, unexplained, artifacts, ancient places and myths and legends. Growing and harvesting saffron crocus white flower farm. A delicious taste of saffron history and lore takes readers from the heavenly gardens of persia to the medieval court of france. Rumi spice sources the worlds highest quality saffron direct from afghan farmers. This is a simple, humble dish, but its some of the best comfort food i know.
In addition to this, saffron is also present in certain medical books dating back to 1500 bc as being referred to as the potencyenhancing plant. Saffron risotto history and curiosities rice is an ingredient from all over the world, but risotto is an italian preparation, widespread and made famous in the world by italians. Zaran saffron, superior saffron threads premium allred saffron spice highest quality saffron for your paella, risotto, persian tea, persian rice and basmati rice persian super negin, 5 gram 1,385. Dangerous tastes explores the captivating history of spices and aromatics. The history of a temptation, i expected a microhistory. Based on the analysis of archaeological, historical, botanical, cytological, geographic, molecular and. All content is the ed material of global science books gsb. Saffrons secret history, from production in iran to cleopatra. Every home cook has thoughts on the right and wrong ways to use spices. Meera nanda is an independent scholar based in the united states. Indeed, persian saffron threads, used to spice foods and teas, were widely suspected by foreigners of being a drugging agent and an aphrodisiac.
Through a beautiful blend of personal stories, myths, history, quotations, ancient remedies, and modern recipes. You already know that this red spice is amazing and expensive, but what is saffron, exactly. Without a doubt, the worlds most luxurious spice is saffron. Cleopatra was said to bathe in saffroninfused mares milk before seeing a suitor. It also has many health and wellbeing uses and is used in modern medicine for its anticancer properties and antioxidant properties. On spice a revealing look at the history and production of spices, with modern, nononsense advice on using them at homesalt, saffron, vanilla, ginger, turmeric, and much more. Pronounced safruhn, saffron has been used for thousands of years as a seasoning, fragrance, dye, and medicine. Browse savory spice shop locations to find a spice store near you. Cooking with saffron, the worlds most expensive herb. Its longstanding coveted status has borne a tradition of adulteration, embargo, and conspicuous consumption that can only be characterized as grotesque.
With its rich global history, medicinal usage, and prominence in regional dishes, saffron is a functional and surprisingly simple addition to your garden. Saffron is a precious spice which is mainly grown in iran, india, spain, greece. Adding a small amount to certain recipes can give food a rich, pungent taste. Since its initial use at the beginning of its history, right up until today saffron spice has remained the most expensive spice known in the world. And by the 15th century, local saffron farming is attested with taxes levied by the religious power, which reveal how important saffron crops must have been. Saffron is the most valuable medicinal food product because of its importance in irans agricultural economy. By the 14th century, the wide use of saffron for spicing and coloring food is documented in recipe books such as the. The word saffron is derived from the arabic word zafaraan, it was the arabs who planted saffron initially in spain over years ago when they ruled the region. Stock your pantry or explore care packge ideas from a huge online selection at. Since 2007 we import the worlds finest grade 1 saffron spice to the uk and sell online here in our fully secured shop, offering the best quality and price with excellent customer service and rapid delivery by tracked signed post to your door. A tasty compendium of spices and a fascinating history and wide array of uses of the worlds favorite flavorsthe book of spice. With a history spanning back millenniums, saffron has been used by kings, pharaohs, and chefs alike for medicinal, aesthetic, and culinary purposes.1152 446 535 519 1191 755 1134 841 813 1555 1367 1466 15 939 722 1361 150 380 1498 1587 290 507 376 987 491 1531 861 177 1349 631 1613 837 89 128 778 1022 993 1053 661 738 597 827