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Saffron

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saffron

Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of the saffron crocus, a species of crocus in the Iridaceae. Together with their stalks connecting stigmas to their host plant—stigmas are dried and used in cooking as a seasoning and colouring agent. Saffron, long the world's most expensive spice by weight, is native to Southwest Asia

saf

  After aestivating in summer, the plant sends up five to eleven narrow and nearly vertical green leaves, each up to 40 cm (16 in) in length. In autumn, purple buds appear. Only in October, after most other flowering plants have released their seeds, do its brilliantly hued flowers develop; they range from a light pastel shade of lilac to a darker and more striated mauve. Upon flowering, plants average less than 30 cm (12 in) in height.[13] A three-pronged style emerges from each flower. Each prong terminates with a vivid crimson stigma 25–30 mm (0.98–1.2 in) in length.

Saffron's aroma is often described by connoisseurs as reminiscent of metallic honey with grassy or hay-like notes, while its taste has also been noted as hay-like and somewhat bitter. Saffron also contributes a luminous yellow-orange colouring to foods. Saffron is widely used in Iranian (Persian), Arab, Central Asian, European, Indian, Turkish, and Cornish cuisines. 

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