Most Expensive Spice in the World
A pound of dried saffron, which costs more than 5,000 USD, is the world's most expensive spice. Dried saffron adds color, flavor and aroma to rice, soups and meat dishes, making it one of the prized culinary condiments in the global kitchen.
Each saffron flower contains only three stigmas, which must be separated from the rest of the flower by hand, between 50,000 to 75,000 flowers are needed to produce a pound of dried saffron. The total harvest and quality of saffron are influenced by the size of individual stigmas and the amount of style (a flower part) collected.
Cultivation and environment strongly affect the production of saffron. Current top producers of saffron are Iran, Italy, Spain, India, Greece, Azerbaijan, and Morocco, where the climate usually ranges from winter, spring, dry summer, and autumn with very little rainfall. Afghanistan is also enticed to grow saffron, instead of opium, giving them a better alternative high-value crop.