Where and How is Saffron Grown?

An exotic spice straight from the well-drained Karewa soils of Kashmir, Saffron or Kashmiri Kesar is a chef’s best friend.

Extensively used in Middle Eastern, and South Asian cuisines, this culinary brilliance packs in a delicate aroma known for uplifting the medley of flavors that makes these dishes oh so lip smacking!

But if you think that’s all what saffron is good for, we have news.

While this golden-tinged beauty is popular for its aromatic characteristic, premium quality saffron also packs in multiple healthcare benefits within itself.

From medicines to dyes and perfumes, from cosmetics to even being considered an aphrodisiac, saffron till this day is considered one of the most elite spices there ever is.

Where Saffron Grows?

They say India is a land of exotic spices that blend flavors with medicinal attributes and that’s exactly where you’ll find saffron. Known as “red gold”, this sought-after spice comes from an age-old cultivation, grown widely in the panoramic valleys of Kashmir.

The climate and soil conditions of this region are deemed ideal, with chilly winters and pleasant summers providing the perfect environment for this precious spice to grow.

In fact, Kashmir has been known for its production of saffron since ancient times, with some sources claiming that the region has been producing saffron since as early as 500 BC.

Today, this region remains the main source of Kashmiri saffron, with most of it being grown in areas around Srinagar. It is the area, the climate, and the lush green landscape of Kashmir that brings forth the uniqueness of Kashmiri saffron in terms of its hue, its flavor, and its benefits.

How is Saffron Grown?

Being a highly valuable crop that requires constant care to ensure its quality, organic saffron farming involves careful planning, dedicated labor, and careful attention to detail at the very least.

Farmers must take into account the soil type, water availability, and temperature when planting and harvesting the crop. They must also be sure to use organic fertilizers and pesticides to keep their crops free from contamination.

With these practices in place, Kashmiri farmers produce high-quality saffron that can fetch top prices on the market.

Let’s take a closer look at how saffron is grown in Kashmir and what makes it so special.

  • The saffron crocus flowers thrive in dry cool regions making Kashmir the perfect place to call home.
  • Saffron also requires well-drained and airy soil which makes tilling one of the top priorities before planting.
  • Usually, the corms are sowed in summer and by mid or late autumn, you can expect saffron crocus plants to bloom giving way to beautiful purple flowers.
  • The flowers are usually hand harvested since these are delicate plants and machine-plucking can damage either the flowers or the soil completely.

Each saffron flower usually produces 2 stigmas. On harvesting, these stigmas are plucked and dried for over 12 hours and there you have it- golden-hued, sun-bathed saffron ready to delight your taste buds.

Being a labor-intensive procedure, one can expect around 460 hours of work to grow, harvest, and dry saffron. Maybe that’s the reason why this spice is considered one of the most expensive and elite spices out there.

Is Your Saffron High Quality?

Of course, saffron quality differs in terms of color and taste owing to weather conditions, soil changes, and much more. So, how can you tell whether the saffron you’re purchasing is off potent quality or not? The trick to this is quite simple.

Over the years, the production of saffron has extended. What once used to be an exclusive spice from the valleys of Kashmir, India has now found temporary homes in places like US too. However, there will be  significant difference between the flavor and the color of these saffrons. However, do note, saffron is never cheap and if you do spot one, there’s a high chance that the product is adulterated.

Usually saffron quality checks are an external process perfected by distributors and sellers through lab approval. This typically means, if you’re getting your saffron from trusted and reliable sources in UK, you’re guaranteed to get premium quality saffron.

Places like kashmirisaffron.com has been sourcing their products straight from Kashmir to your doorstep with 100% organic quality guaranteed so that you can not just amplify your food flavoring process but also embrace the healthy goodness it brings along with itself.

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