Biology

Background

The current Saffron (Crocus sativus) is a product of a wild crocus flower (Crocus cartwrightianus, Crocus thomasii and Crocus pallasii), which is being grown with long stalks and stigmas.

Biology of the saffron Crocus Sativus

24 chromosomal bodies makes the Crocus, 8 per set. The sterile Crocus is not in a position to produce viable seeds and that is why it is requires human intervention: The tubers should be unearthed, distributed and need to be replanted. A tuber survives once and delivers up to ten ‘Knoll’ which are planted in the next season. The compact tubers are small, brown balls that measures 4 to 5 cm in diameter and with a flat bottom, shrouded in a dense mat of parallel fibers – the tuber tunic. Tubers also contribute vertical fibers, thin and grow to 5 cm above the neck of the plant.

From the end of October until mid-November, the crocus fully develops; the flowers appear and vary from a light pastel shade of purple to a darker and striped purple. The flowers have a sweet, honey like smell. Three stigmas, each stigma ends with a lively crimson red stalk of 25-30 mm in length.

The Crocus sativus thrives in the Mediterranean shrubs, an ecotype that thrives mainly in North America and similar climates where warm and dry summer breezes wipe out the semi-arid areas. Surely it cannot survive cold winters and tolerate frost to -10° C and short periods of snow coverage. Irrigation is needed if you need them outside humid environments.

The plants grow poorly in shady conditions; they grow the best in the full sun. Fields with the slope to the sunlight are optimal (i.e., on the southern slopes of the northern hemisphere).

Properties

The aroma of saffron is often described by Specialists as that is similar to metal honey with a herbaceous or hay-like hint, while the taste is also to be noted as hay-like and sweet. Saffron also gives a luminous yellow-orange color to food. Saffron is used a lot in Indian, Persian, European, Arab and Turkish cuisine. In banquets and liquors saffron is also used.

Energy 1298 kJ
310 kcal
Eggwhites 11,43 g
Fat 5,85 g
Dry residues 5,45 g
Carbohydrates 65,37 g
Fibers 3,9 g
Minerals
Calcium 111 mg
Iron 11 mg
Magnesium 264 mg
Phosphorus 252 mg
Potassium 1724 mg
Sodium 148 mg
Zinc 1 mg
Copper 0,3 mg
Manganese 28 mg
Selenium 5,6 mcg
Vitamins
vit C 80 mg
Thiamine (B1) 0,1 mg
Riboflavine (B2) 0,3 mg
Niacine (B3) 1,5 mg
B6 1 mg
Folate 93 mcg
B 12
vit A 27 mcg
vit D
Fat
– Saturated 1,5 g
– Mono unsaturated 0,4 g
– poly unsaturated 2,1 g
Omega-3 (1,3) g
Omega-6 (0,8) g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Flavonen 1,4

 

Harvest

1000g dried saffron means 85.000 to 150,000 flowers: 2 football fields are full of saffron flowers and 40 labor hours to these 150,000 flowers to reap the benefits.

1000g dried saffron represents approximately 150,000 to 400,000 stamper. The stampers should be harvested from the flowers to be sorted. The saffron stampers contain a lot of moisture and should quickly, but at a low temperature, dried to fermentation. The stamper losses 80% of their weight in the drying process. 1000g picked rammers thus gives only 200g dried saffron rammers.

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