Red Gold, Iran's homegrown treasure: the spice that costs more than gold

Iran, the land of the magical spice Saffron

Saffron from Iran is regarded as “red gold.” From aromatic dishes and colourful desserts to physical and spiritual medicine, saffron is a mystical component in Persian culture. The saffron harvest season begins in early November each year. While most other plants have perished, the vibrant purple blooms cover the fields and form an extraordinary landscape in Iran’s dry regions, particularly in Southern Khorasan Province’s Ghaenat, Birjand, Tabas, and other dry-climate provinces such as Damghan, Semnan, and others.

The cities having saffron plantations are mostly in subtropical climates with hot summers and mild, dry winters. This mystical spice is used as a spice for its organoleptic characteristics related to its colouring and flavouring properties, and it has been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of diseases as a result of this quality. Crocin and safranal are the key chemical components responsible for these effects.

These compounds have been shown to have a wide spectrum of biological activities, including anti depression, antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerotic, anti-diabetic, hypotension, hypoglycemic, anti-hyperlipidemia, and anti-degenerative. Saffron is also ideal for skin beauty, anti-Alzheimer, anti-depression, anti-flu, and many other diseases.

Saffron must be harvested early in the morning before sunrise. The reason is that Saffron flowers are still Saffron must be harvested before daybreak in the morning. The reason for this is that early in the morning, saffron flowers are still buds, but when the sun rises, they open and collecting them becomes exceedingly difficult. Another reason to pick saffron flowers first thing in the morning is that the fresher the blossoms are and the shorter the picking time, the more colourful and better the saffron will be.

Despite the fact that Iranian saffron is of the highest quality in the world, and Iran produces 90% of the world’s saffron, Iran only receives around 5% of the market value. This is because Iranian saffron is exported and marketed in other nations such as Afghanistan, Spain, and China.

Our invitation to you is to visit Saffron farms in Iran with us:

Credit : Azam Ayoubian

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