Kashmir is known as the valley of flowers. Among several varieties of flowers grown there, saffron has its own importance and utility. Kashmir has the proud privilege of being a place where saffron grows. There are two places in Kashmir that are able to be a land for saffron cultivation. One of these two places is Pampur. Pampore or Pampur is a historic town situated on the eastern side of river Jehlum on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway in Jammu and Kashmir. It is worldwide famous for its Saffron, so known as Saffron Town of Kashmir. The area is about 11 km from Srinagar city centre Lal Chowk. Pampur is a lush and pristine area which is outstanding place for cultivating saffron.
The saffron plant is very small and its flower is the only part which is seen above the ground. The harvesting time of this saffron is autumn. The best environment for cultivating saffron is cool dry climate and rich soil with organic fertilizers and Kashmiri lands are famous for this rich qualities. The stigmas of Kashmiri saffron are very long and with thick head. They are dark red color. The quality of soil and suitability of climate have significant impact on size of stigmas. There are three grade of saffron that are available in Kashmir. Lachha saffron, Mongra saffron and Zarda saffron. Kashmiri saffron is well known for its exotic aroma and as a flavor in culinary preparation. Kashmiri saffron has deep dark maroonish-purple hue. While Persian saffron has about 70% of total world production, in case of quality Kashmiri saffron is the best and finest.
One of Iran’s products that they proud of is Saffron. Saffron is one of the world’s most expensive spices. One of the reasons behind this high price is the fact that this plant cannot be found except in a handful of places. Hence, saffron has been nicknames the red gold. Though it’s able to find saffron in a few places besides Iran, Persian saffron has no rival when it comes to its excellent flavor, mesmerizing color and outstanding quality. Iran usually tends to be the biggest producers and exporters of many of its domestic products. Saffron is no different. Iran covers about 70% of the world’s 250 tons of saffron production annually. It is said that classical Persian is the very first language that has the use of saffron (or Zaferan, as more commonly known around Iran) registered in the cooking department. There are a few points that matter when it comes to the quality of saffron.
We will name two:
- 1. The age and maturity and the saffron is a very important point.
- 2. The mass of style cultivated alongside the saffron is vital to the quality
There are different types of saffron that can be cultivate in Iran:
- Sargol: this is considered the top notch quality, which consists only of the red stigmas of the saffron crocus. Sargol literally translates as “top of the flower”. Our Iranian saffron is made up of the red stigmas which have been professionally cut and separated from the style prior to drying. Stigmas cut this way don’t trap the moisture inside. If stigmas stay attached to the style, it keeps inside up to 30-50% dead weight and you pay for it. We only sell the stigmas (threads). Coloring power is the
Coloring power is the only measuring tool that assures you of consistent saffron quality.
- Pushal/Pushali: this brand is also mostly red stigmas, along with a small amount of yellow style.
- Bunch: a small amount of red stigmas plus a lot of yellow style and Possesses lower quality than the two above.
- Konge: only yellow style. This brand has the aroma of saffron, but barely has any coloring ability.
Apart from enhancing the features of dishes magnificently, saffron also has many medical uses. It is used to reduce a number of health sicknesses, and is used as a remedy to cure insomnia and reduce stress. Saffron is also a useful substance when it comes to weight loss, and fitness since it has an appetite receding effect. It is also of great use in the cosmetics and skin care facility as the various masks.
Persian saffron and other saffron differences:
- Persian Saffron threads are all vivid crimson color with a slightly lighter orange-red color on the tips. This indicates that it’s not cheap saffron that has been tinted red to look expensive
- Aroma is strong and fresh.
- No broken-off debris collected at the bottom of container.
- No other yellow or white plant parts mixed in with the red threads.
- Fresh and current season’s threads.
- Saffron threads are dry and brittle to the touch.
- Saffron threads displaying telltale dull brick red coloring which is indicative of age.
- Aroma is musty.
- Broken-off debris is collected at the containers bottom, indicative of age-related brittle dryness.
- Yellow and white plant parts are not separated from the stigmas to add dead weight.
- Not a current season threads.
- Have moister trapped inside for adding dead weight