Saffron the red gold of Iran | Everything to know

Saffron the red gold of Iran

Saffron is a small, perennial herb with a height of 10 to 30 cm. From the middle of the onion or the stem base, several narrow leaves extend out. From the middle of the leaves, a flower stem leaves, which ends up with one to three goals. The flowers have 6 purple petals, which may be purple or purple in some varieties. Saffron, known as Red Gold, has a 3,000-year history in medicine.

saffron price

This spice is native to European and Asian countries and is often found in Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Iran, China, and India. Saffron has many properties. Saffron belongs to the lily family and has been used extensively since thousands of years ago. For a very long time, it was used as a cure for cough, cold, stomach illness, insomnia, uterine bleeding, heart disease, and bloating.

Saffron is a popular and common spice that comes from a flower called saffron. Its scientific name is Crocus sativus, and it can dry and turn into valuable spices during a process.

saffron harvest

Benefits of saffron

  • It helps to improve digestive system function and increase appetite.
  • It has warmth, and it cures coughs and colds.
  • Eliminates bloating and stomach acid.
  • Add saffron to the hot milk and drink at the end of the night to sleep comfortably.
  • Saffron in the milk eliminates dryness and itching of the skin
  • Because it helps blood circulation, it cures kidney, bladder, and liver disorders
  • It reduces the pain of the period
  • In addition to blood purification, it also has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Giving massage with saffron water destroys inflammation and mouth ulcers
  • Recent studies have shown that saffron has an anti-cancer effect
  • Confronts anxiety and depression
  • The use of saffron improves the wound and burns faster
  • It is very effective in reducing blood cholesterol

saffron flower

Originally Iran was the only exporter of saffron in the world, but in recent years, other countries have entered the saffron industry. In the new era of Spain, it is considered a rival of Iran and is one of the exporters of saffron. The Emirates has become one of the saffron exporters without saffron cultivation. In addition, many countries, such as Afghanistan, India, and others, have been active in the saffron trade.

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Must-Try Saffron Dishes in Iranian Cuisine

  •   Saffron Rice (Tahchin): Baked rice cake layered with chicken, yogurt, and saffron:
  • Saffron Ice Cream (Bastani Sonnati): Persian ice cream with saffron, rose water, and pistachios
  • Saffron Chicken (Morgh-e Zafarani): Tender chicken pieces in a saffron-infused sauce.
  • Saffron Tea: A soothing tea infused with saffron strands.
  • Saffron Halva: A sweet, dense confection made with saffron, flour, and butter.
  • Sholeh Zard: Traditional saffron rice pudding with almonds and cinnamon.

bastani sonnati with saffron

where to buy saffron?

  1. Khorasan Province: This region is the heartland of saffron production in Iran. Cities like Mashhad offer numerous shops where fresh saffron can be purchased directly from the producers.

  2. Tehran Bazaars: The Grand Bazaar of Tehran has several reputable spice shops where high-quality saffron from Khorasan and other regions is available. Look for shops with a high turnover to ensure the freshness of saffron.

  3. Local Spice Markets: Almost every city in Iran has local markets or bazaars where saffron is sold. The Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz and the Bazaar of Tabriz are notable examples.

  4. Specialty and Souvenir Shops: In tourist areas and near historical sites, specialty shops often sell saffron alongside other local products. These can be great places to buy packaged saffron suitable for taking home as a souvenir.

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Top Saffron Producing Regions in Iran

Saffron QualityCharacteristicsRegion
High-grade, aromaticVast fields, ideal climateKhorasan
Premium, rich colorRich soil, traditional farmsFars
Excellent, strong flavorHistorical cultivation, sunnyIsfahan

Qian capital and red gold brand

If we want to talk about cultivating saffron in Iran, the first one to come to mind is Khorasan. Khorasan province has always been a pioneer in saffron cultivation in Iran. The cultivation of saffron is common in different cities of Khorasan Razavi province, including,qaen, Zawah, Torbat Heydarieh, Torbat Jam, Taibad, Bakhzar, Gonabad, Neyshabur, and Dagestan.

 This province has been the first to cultivate saffron. About 230 tons of saffron are produced annually in the world, and about 170 tons of it are from Khorasan. Currently, Qian saffron is in first place in terms of quality. Due to the benefits of saffron and its delicious taste in the best Iranian food, you can buy it as a precious and unique souvenir and bring it to your country.

Last Word

saffron, often referred to as the "Red Gold of Iran," is a highly valued spice with a rich history spanning over 3,000 years. Native to various European and Asian countries, it is particularly renowned in Iran for its high quality. The article highlights saffron's wide range of benefits, including digestive and respiratory health improvement, anti-inflammatory properties, and potential anti-cancer effects. Iran, historically the sole exporter of saffron, now shares the market with countries like Spain and the United Arab Emirates. The Khorasan province of Iran is especially noted for its superior quality saffron. This precious spice is not only a culinary delight but also a popular souvenir, symbolizing Iran's cultural and agricultural heritage.


FAQs Related to Saffron in Iran:

Where is the best place to buy saffron in Iran?

The Khorasan Province, particularly Mashhad, is renowned for producing the highest quality saffron. Here, tourists can buy directly from local farmers or specialized markets, ensuring authenticity and freshness.

How can I identify high-quality saffron?

Look for saffron threads that are vivid crimson red with a slightly moist texture. The aroma should be strong and sweet, without any hint of bitterness. Avoid powdered saffron if possible, as it may be adulterated.

What is the average price of saffron in Iran?

Prices vary based on quality and quantity, but as of recent, high-quality saffron could range from $2,000 to $3,000 per kilogram. Smaller packets suitable for tourists are reasonably priced, making them accessible souvenirs.

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