Monday, December 26, 2011

Why is Saffron so expensive?

Recently we celebrated St. Lucia Day (The Festival of Lights).  A part of this tradition is the always yummy saffron buns.  The distinctive taste of saffron is a key part of the flavor of these buns, but saffron is alway expensive and hard to come by.  Apparently it can run up to $1000/pound.  The folks over at put this into perspective with their article that explains why.  You see saffron comes from the crocus flowers (Crocus sativus).  Apparently each plant produces four flowers per year and each flower produces three saffron threads.   That means that you can get a maximum of 12 threads per year, per plant if all goes well.  One pound of saffron is usually 50,000 - 75,000 threads, so that can be up to 25,000 flowers.  As you can imagine, with each thread being manually picked, it's a labor intensive process, not to mention that it takes a football field sized area to produce a pound of saffron.  To me, knowing this will just make those saffron buns taste all the more unique.

via Nomilicious

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