Saffron is obtained from crocus sativus, a flower that does not exist in the wild.
Saffron is bought at a price comparable to gold and has always been the most expensive spice you can buy in terms of price per gram. Flavor, aroma and color are the three important elements of saffron.
About 170 crocus sativus flowers are needed to get one gram of top quality saffron. You will need 1 to 3 pistils or 3 to 9 stigmas to flavor one dish for one person.
A genuine saffron stigma will immediately tinge your wet fingers yellow. If the color is red, it means that you have a similar looking fiber that has been impregnated with an artificial dye. However, it is not saffron! Three times more fake saffron is sold than is actually grown.
Do not cook the saffron. It must be infused to develop its optimum flavor. It is also possible to obtain an excellent result by macerating it in white wine, alcohol, lemon juice, milk, cream or even water.
Cooking with saffron adds exoticism to your dish, through coloring and enhancing the flavor of foods and condiments. Saffron can be used in sweet or savory dishes. Try and experiment with your own recipes.