Pure Kashmiri Saffron or Kesar is one of the priciest spices available on the Earth. From antiquity to modern times, the history of saffron is full of applications in food, drink, and traditional herbal medicine.
The active components in saffron acts as an antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-oxidant, digestive, anti-convulsant. Kashmiri Saffron is particularly known for it's high quality, deep red hues and potency. Saffron tea was treasured by ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks for use in folk medicine, and to create culinary and herbal delights.
The main characteristics of Saffron from Kashmir are:
- The stigmas are very flat
- They are very wide compared to other saffrons from the other parts of world.
- The colour is very dark red.
- The smell of the saffron is very potent.
- The feel is very soft & silky.
- When water is added to the red stigma, it imparts strong yellow colour.
Derived from the dried stigmas of the purple saffron crocus, it takes anything from 70,000 to 250,000 flowers to make one kilo of saffron. Moreover, the flowers have to be individually hand-picked in the autumn when fully open. Fortunately, only a little needs to be added to a dish to lend it colour and aroma.