Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Saffron Rock Candy and Dates from Iran

Nahid just returned from her annual trip to visit her mother in Esfanhan, Iran.

As usual, she brought us yummy goodies.

The rock candy is colored and flavored with saffron, so we looked at pictures of Crocus sativus, the flower the spice comes from
Crocus sativus is the world's most expensive spice.  Saffron are the stigmas from the crocus sativus flower

There are only 3 stigmas (referred to as saffron threads) per flower. Saffron is hand harvested so you can understand why it is so prized and so expensive.  It takes about 13,125 threads to weigh one ounce.
According to Wikipedia, the average retail price for a pound of Saffron in Western countries is $1000/pound, so $62.50/an ounce.

It is debatable where Saffron originated, some sources claim Persia (Iran). This map shows where it is currently cultivated. 
 —  Major growing regions.
 —  Minor growing regions.
 —  Minor producing nations.
Noor thinks she'd like to go to Iran with Nahid, so we talked a bit about how difficult it is for Nahid to travel there, even with an Iranian passport and how much harder it would be for us with American documents.

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