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Saffron Buying Guide: What to Know Before Buying Saffron
In this saffron buying guide article , we will mention the points that you should pay attention to before buying saffron so that you can buy the best type of saffron.
It is necessary to research the product before buying anything so that we don't lose money, time and even life !
Saffron is known as a strategic product in the world, a product that attracts profit seekers due to its high price.
The high price of this product has caused profiteers to endanger the health of consumers by adding chemicals to various items such as corn stigmas.
In this article, we have tried to reach a comprehensive guide for buying saffron without any exaggeration and based on the experiences of buyers and sellers .
If you intend to buy quality saffron, be sure to read this article to the end
The structure of saffron:
Saffron, which is known by the scientific name Crodus Stativus, is made from a spherical bulb with a brown skin.
Each saffron flower has 6 petals, and these petals themselves have medicinal and industrial uses.
Among these 6 petals, there are 3 yellow stamens and 3 red stigmas (sometimes 2 and sometimes 4 stigmas), which is the same color as saffron.
Almost all the properties of this tonic plant are found in the stigma and cream (saffron root attached to the stigma).
The factors which are very important in saffron are crocin (color),picrocrocin (flavor) and safranal (aroma). Higher amount of these compounds in saffron provide higher quality of saffron.Grading of saffron is done through gauging Picrocrocin (flavor), Crocin (color) and Safranal (aroma) content. This is done in the laboratory by ISO professionals, and the higher the number of these 3 factors means the higher the saffron quality.
The International Standards Organisation (http://www.iso.org/iso/home.html, Geneva) has set out the testing of saffron quality in two detailed documents (ISO 3632-1 and -2). These set out a test for the content of three biologically active molecules in saffron - picrocrocin, safranal and crocin. Using UV spectrometry, the test measures the concentrations of these three molecules in a standard aqueous extraction. The highest quality saffron is designated Category 1 by the ISO.
According to the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) the minimum requirement for coloring strength is 190-220 to be considered Grade 1.
Whatever we say about the properties of this plant, we have said little and the properties of this plant are not hidden from anyone.
From the properties it has on treating depression to treating cancer and even its effect on the beauty of the skin!
If you intend to prepare a face mask for skin beauty, you can read the article on how to prepare a saffron mask .
The general properties of saffron are as follows
- to be joyful
- Heart booster
- Preventing the increase of cholesterol, triglycerides and bad blood fat
- Improve blood flow
- pain relief
- Reduction of swelling in tissues due to trauma
- blood maker
- Protector of brain cells
- Stomach tonic
- Preventing the development of genetic eye diseases
- Treatment of asthma
- Treatment of skin diseases, jaundice and...
To see more properties, you can read the article on the Benefits of saffron .
Types of saffron and their differences:
Most likely, if you were planning to buy saffron, you have come across different names such as Sargol saffron, Negin saffron, etc.
And if you are not familiar with the types of saffron, you will definitely get confused about which type of saffron to buy!
In the following, we will explain each type of saffron and we will tell you which type of saffron is suitable for you and which type of saffron you should buy.
Saffron is mainly sold in the following 5 categories:
- White saffron
- Pushal saffron: This saffron includes the stigma along with some root (white saffron).
- Sargol saffron : This type of saffron is the separated red part of the saffron and the yellow part and the root are not seen in it.
- Nagin saffron: This type of saffron is the most expensive type because of its high coloring and fragrance that is also sold in EBV
- Bunch saffron: After the saffrons are completely separated from the flower along with the root (white saffron), they are dried in the same way.
- White saffron: The root part of the saffron stigma is called, which does not have a special coloring, but has the same properties as the original saffron.
The categories of saffrons are based on what part of the string related to the saffron flower is present in the prepared product.
The price of precious saffron is more expensive than others, and white saffron (saffron root) is the cheapest because it does not have a special coloring.
The reason why Nagin saffron is expensive is that the saffron you buy is completely red and has a very high coloring.
Which type of saffron should I buy?
There are a few things to consider when buying.
The most important indicators for buying saffron are the price and quality of that type of saffron.
If you are looking for saffron that has excellent quality and has all the properties of saffron and most importantly has a reasonable price, Negin saffron is the most suitable type of saffron.
You can buy Negin saffron at a reasonable price from EBV .
Guide to buying saffron:
So far, we have learned about saffron, its properties and types.
Now that we know which type of saffron we should buy, we should also pay attention to other points that we will explain later.
These tips are written based on the experiences of buyers and sellers .
And it is necessary to pay attention to the mentioned points so as not to suffer possible losses.
Guide to distinguishing original saffron from fake:
As mentioned, the limited production, laborious and expensive planting of this product has made profit seekers think of cheating on this strategic product.
The profit-seeking people in this market, without considering the special loss of life and money to the consumers of saffron, are only thinking about their profit and endangering people's health by producing fake saffron .
Fraud in saffron, in addition to the risks it has for customers due to the lack of prosperity of the sales market, also causes huge losses to the farmer .
In the following, we discuss the methods of cheating in saffron and ways to prevent it.
Cheating methods in saffron:
- Increasing the weight of saffron by adding impurities to it
- Coloring the white (cream) of saffron
- Using artificial color in fake saffron
- Adding thread-like ingredients to the original saffron
Ways to identify original saffron from fake saffron:
- Aroma and flavor of original saffron: Original saffron has a bitter taste and a sweet aroma .
- Use of straw paper: The real saffron must leave a trace of fat on the straw paper, otherwise it will be fake.
- Appearance characteristics of saffron: saffron stigmas should be curved, and if they are too shiny, the originality of saffron should be doubted.
- Use of methane gas flame: put the pieces of saffron on the butane gas flame, if the saffron is pure, it will turn purple or orange.
- Diagnosis with gasoline: saffron does not dissolve in gasoline ; If you put some saffron in gasoline and the gasoline becomes colored, your saffron is fake and has artificial colors.
- Diagnosis with boiling water: put some saffron branches in boiling water, if the color of the branches changes from red to white, it is fake saffron, because the color of original saffron does not change quickly in boiling water.
- Diagnosis with baking soda: original saffron turns yellow in baking soda and fake saffron turns red.
What do you want saffron for?
If you intend to prepare saffron for food and saffron tea and for its Benefits, Negin saffron will be the best choice for you.
Because this type of saffron has the best flavor and color and has a reasonable price.
Among other uses of saffron is its use in industry for therapeutic, edible and dyeing purposes .
Also, saffron is widely used in baking to decorate cakes.
How to use saffron:
According to the studies, it is more common and better to use saffron in powdered form,
because when saffron is powdered, it releases a better aroma and gives a better taste to our food.
So it is better to use saffron, grind it before cooking and then brew the saffron,
you can use small mortars available in the market to grind saffron.
To brew saffron, you can also use two general methods as follows:
- Brewing saffron with boiling water
- Brewing saffron with ice
1. Brewing saffron with boiling water:
This method is the most common method of brewing saffron and most people use this method.
To brew saffron with boiling water, you need an unbreakable teapot .
First, pour some ground saffron into the teapot,
then pour some hot water into the teapot.
If you are sure that your teapot is unbreakable, you can put it on the samovar to brew slowly for better results.
Your brewed saffron is ready and you can add it to your recipes,
or you can add it to tea and have a soothing saffron tea .
2. Brewing saffron with ice:
Brewing saffron with ice is another method of brewing saffron.
This method is a relatively new method and most people are not aware of its existence,
but it is interesting to know that in this method you can achieve a better result than the previous step.
You just need to note that brewing saffron in this method will take longer than the previous method.
First, put some pieces of ice (2 or 3) in a container ,
pour some ground saffron on the ice,
then let the ice stay at room temperature and slowly melt.
In this method, saffron undergoes a shock and its color and aroma are better and gradually released.
3. The best way to brew saffron:
The best results can be achieved by combining the two previous methods.
Put a few pieces of ice in the teapot,
then pour the ground saffron on the ice,
then add hot water and put the teapot on the samovar to brew.
In this method, which is much faster than the previous methods , the color and aroma of saffron will be released more.
Brewed saffron is ready, now you can add it to your recipe.
Cooking and using saffron in drinks
Saffron can be combined with different drinks,
saffron has a warm character and can be used in both cold and hot drinks.
The simplest drink that can be made with saffron is saffron syrup
, which is made only by combining sugar, water and saffron, and sometimes rose water and syrup eggs.
Other cold drinks that can be prepared with saffron include saffron syrup and lemon juice,
you have probably had this type of drink at Salavati stations.
Hot drinks prepared with saffron include saffron tea, saffron-honey syrup, and saffron milk.
Saffron tea can be called the most popular drink in Iranian cuisine,
saffron tea has wonderful properties, two of the most important of which are relaxation and sleep regulation.
Saffron milk is also one of the tonic drinks, below is how to use saffron for drinking saffron milk.
Saffron milk drink:
As the name of this drink suggests, saffron milk drink is made from milk + saffron , some people sometimes add chopped almonds, honey, cardamom, dates,
etc. to this tonic drink according to their taste .
Saffron milk is considered a warm drink , but it can also be drunk as a cold drink .
Saffron milk is a very simple drink that can be prepared in less than 15 minutes.
Below is the recipe for saffron milk , stay with us.
Ingredients for saffron milk:
- 3 cups of full fat milk
- 1/4 teaspoon of saffron
- 3 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of almond powder (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder (optional)
How to prepare saffron milk:
First, pour milk into a kettle and then add saffron,
put the kettle on gas and then let it boil.
Our saffron milk is almost ready, but if you like, you can add cardamom and chopped almonds.
Finally, wait for it to stay on the gas for a while and then pour it into a glass and drink it hot or cold.
Cooking and using saffron in dessert
Another way to use saffron is to use it in desserts and sweets .
There are delicious desserts in Iran that cannot be found anywhere in the world,
three of the most delicious are saffron, muscat and yellow shell ice cream.
Saffron ice cream has a historical background and became popular in Iran from the time of Nasser al-Din Shah,
it is interesting to know that the first flavor of ice cream that existed in Iran was saffron ice cream !
Saffron can be considered a religious spice because it is found in various offerings.
Among the most famous of them, we can mention the yellow shell , the main ingredient of which is saffron.
Muscat is also considered as another delicious Iranian sweet, which is known as a souvenir of Shiraz.
If you intend to make a simple stretchy muscat at home, you can read its preparation method below.
Muscati is a popular sweet and souvenir of Shirazi and is an authentic part of Iranian cooking.
This delicious, soft and jelly-like sweet is prepared in different places with different recipes, but the method of preparation is almost the same.
The main ingredient of muscat is starch , which gives a jelly shape to sweets.
Saffron, rose water and nuts are other ingredients that give a special taste to Muscat sweets.
In the following, you can see how to prepare delicious and elastic muscat .
Necessary ingredients for Muscati:
- 1/2 cup starch or 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 cup of orange juice or rose water
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of saffron
- 50 grams of butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds
- as much chopped pistachios (for decoration)
- required amount of rose petals (for decoration)
How to prepare muscat:
First, we mix starch and cold water in a container and stir until it becomes uniform.
Then put a pot on medium heat and add dissolved starch, sugar and another 1 cup of water , let it boil for 15 minutes.
Add infused saffron, butter, almonds and cardamom and stir for 10 minutes.
Our muscat is almost ready, add orange or rose water in the last 10 minutes.
Pour the muscat into a container and then put it in the fridge to set. You can use pistachios and dried rose petals to decorate .
Cooking and using saffron in the main meal
chicken barbecue! This two-part word is enough to make anyone's mouth water.
Grilled chicken can be considered the most delicious and popular Iranian food.
It is impossible to enter a restaurant and not see grilled chicken and its varieties on the menu.
The main spice that gives grilled chicken a wonderful taste is saffron.
Now that you have entered the restaurant and ordered grilled chicken, you need a wonderful pilaf,
what will complement our pilaf dish? Well done, saffron rice!
Saffron rice is rarely used as a main dish,
but if it is used alongside rice, it can give our food a wonderful color, taste and smell.
Also, saffron is used in various stews, which makes the food acquire a wonderful color.
Another way to use saffron is to use it in saffron rice.
Saffron rice is one of the most authentic and delicious Iranian dishes and is one of the most important dishes in cooking with saffron.
Also, saffron rice is one of the first dishes that every Iranian cook should learn.
Next, make delicious saffron rice with meat, onions, spices, and most importantly, saffron .
Ingredients for saffron rice:
- 1/4 teaspoon of saffron
- 1/4 cup of warm water
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 cups of white rice
- 3 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 3/4 teaspoon of salt
How to prepare saffron rice:
First, you must grind the saffron and then infuse the saffron with the methods mentioned at the beginning of this article.
Then pour some oil in a pot and fry the onions,
add the rinsed rice and mix with the onions and let it fry for a while.
Then add the brewed saffron to the ingredients.
After that, add chicken or vegetable broth to the pot according to your taste and let it boil for a while.
Put a lid on the pot and reduce the heat. Let the saffron rice cook for 20 minutes .
Our saffron rice is ready, you can serve meat or any stew you like next to this saffron rice .
Saffron has a wonderful aroma and taste, and the countless properties of this plant cannot be neglected,for this reason, saffron is considered an integral part of Iranian cooking.
Saffron is a versatile spice and it will give a wonderful taste and color to any food that is used.
You canbuy Negin saffron with a product return guarantee in case of dissatisfaction from EBV.
If you intend to buy saffron,Click here
If you own a restaurant or confectionary or you need saffron in large quantities, you can buy saffron in bulk, bulk purchase of saffron.