Saffron Crocus

6 comments so far...

Creeksong November 18, 2014, 07:29 AM
With only three stomata per flower, it takes a whole football field of these to make a pound of saffron, the planet's most expensive spice.
Fizgig plus March 11, 2018, 11:38 PM
So pretty! Especially with the sneaky ladybug trying to hide in the center of the flower.... Nice find and capture!
Creeksong March 12, 2018, 07:08 AM
I found the ladybug. I grew the Crocus. The bulbs were a present from a friend who knows I like Saffron. I have never seen Crocus growing wild here.
Sonja March 13, 2018, 02:30 PM
Wow! A saffron crocus! You got the real thing!

I once bought a bulp package as "Saffron Crocus", but the crocus in it where some very regular looking decorative purple crocus not developing any red threads, just blossoming rather late. Ended up moving them out from the kitchen herbs into the lawn. :o(
I agree about the taste of saffron... would be very nice to get a little of the real stuff from homegrowing, but if it does not work I make the paella spice with extra curcuma and tarragon... the first got cheaper at the grocery as asian cooking became common place and the later grows like mad in my herb patch.

Creeksong March 15, 2018, 10:39 PM
Dear Sonja,
Because a Saffron Crocus only makes three stigmas per flower, It takes 150,000 blooms to make a pound of Saffron. That's a stand the size of a football field! The three bulbs I grew, were only symbolic fun. They are, for sure, beautiful, and the Ladies liked them a lot! The bulbs failed to regenerate, though. :0(
Sonja March 19, 2018, 05:01 PM
Saffron at the supermarket spice rack comes in 0,1 g packages that are around 3 Euro here, those 3 threads of one just crocus are supposed to be exactly what it takes for making a regular size paella (a 28cm deep dish pan) nicely bright yellow and savoury.

Saffron is not used by the 1/4 tablespoon or so, not only for it is comperably expensive even in the smal doses but also for it is much, much stronger than the moderately priced stuff that makes the "paella spice mix" or "paella helper" labeled mystery bags in the big chain supermarkets spice rack to colour the rice yellow and smell somewhat exotic at the same time.

The way already old romans sublemented saffron when it was to expensive or not to come by was calendula petals.
There is the odd "Colorante Alimentario" selling spice brand that advertises with this history but that stuff is not really the old roman saffron ersatz. If you read the tiny print on the (usually authentic spanish) "Colorante Alimentario" you will find it is just a mega-yucky mix tartrazine, sunset yellow FCF (that's E102 and E110 or Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 according to national labeling differences) and to go with this a lot of corn starch as carrier and plain salt -- not any spice at all, just a probaply unhealthy dye.
True roman style calendula paste however tastes very bitter. If you use enough to get a good golden colour, it spoils everything.

Better always use curcuma (in america sold as turmeric) to make your rice a great bright yellow. It's a very healthy antioxidant and not overpowering in taste, sublementing with some sweet smelling kitchen herbs and propper sea salt can add a lot of flair for anyone not really insisting on the pricey real thing.

Add a comment...
Your name:
Your e-mail:

About 23

About 23
What is 23 and who's behind the service?
Just In
Discover the world from a different angle.
Here's a crop of the latest photos from the around the world.
Search photos from users using 23
Help / Discussion
Get help or share your ideas to make 23 better
23 Blog / 23 on Twitter
Messages and observations from Team 23
Terms of use
What can 23 be used for and what isn't allowed
More services from 23
We also help people use photo sharing in their professional lives
  • Basque (ES)
  • Bulgarian (BG)
  • Chinese (CN)
  • Chinese (TW)
  • Danish (DK)
  • Dutch (NL)
  • English (US)
  • French (FR)
  • Galician (ES)
  • German (DE)
  • Italian (IT)
  • Norwegian (NO)
  • Polish (PL)
  • Portuguese (PT)
  • Russian (RU)
  • Spanish (ES)
  • Swedish (SE)

Popular photos right now