Saffron is a highly prized and expensive spice that has been used for a century in food, medicine, and cosmetics. It is a well-liked ingredient in many dishes, especially those from the Middle East, India, and the Mediterranean because of its distinctive flavour, aroma, and colour. But not all saffron is created equal, so it’s important to know how to choose the best grade for use in cooking or other applications. We’ll discuss some tips for choosing the best saffron in this blog post.

1.Think about the Source

The quality of the saffron might also be impacted by its origins. Iran, Spain, and India are the primary producing nations for saffron. Whilst Saffron from Kashmir is regarded as the greatest in the world due to its strong flavour, deep colour, and rich scent.

2. Search for the appropriate colour.

The colour of the saffron should be taken into account first when choosing it. High-grade saffron should have accents of deep crimson and orange. The colour conveys the saffron’s strength and freshness. The saffron is most likely old and of poor quality if it appears brownish or yellow. Avoid saffron as well if it is very brilliant or has an unnatural colour as it might contain additives or be a fake.

3. Seek for.

While selecting saffron, the first thing to examine is purity. Pure saffron contains solely the stigmas of the crocus flower, whereas inferior saffron may contain other components of the flower. Buying saffron from a trustworthy supplier is the greatest method to assure purity.
Buy here

4. Check the aroma

Another important factor to think about when choosing saffron is its scent. A high-grade saffron should smell potent, pleasing, and slightly floral. The saffron is probably old or of low quality if it has no scent or smells musty or stale.

Pro-Tip:-  Rub the saffron threads between your fingers to release the scent and check for freshness.

5.Verify the amount of moisture.

The quality of saffron can be impacted by its moisture level. The flavour and scent of saffron might be lost if it becomes too dry and becomes brittle. Nevertheless, saffron that is excessively wet may rapidly go bad. Saffron should have a moisture level of between 5% and 10%.

6.Choose full threads rather than powder.

Saffron should be purchased in full threads rather than powder. Complete threads are less likely to be contaminated or diluted with other substances. Because it is easy to bulk up powdered saffron by mixing it with other spices like turmeric or paprika, determining its quality is even more challenging. Saffron that has been ground into powder has a shorter shelf life and is more likely to lose flavour and effectiveness.

7.Check for credentials.

Look for certificates that guarantee the saffron’s quality and authenticity before making a purchase. For example, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed a standard for the evaluation of saffron’s quality. Examples of national certification systems that some countries have include the Spanish Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) mark and the Iranian Saffron Exporters Association (ISEA) certification. These certifications can provide the assurance that the saffron is pure, free of impurities, and produced in accordance with strict regulations.

8.Think about the cost

Saffron is one of the most expensive spices, and its price can vary greatly depending on its quality, region of origin, and market demand. Higher grade saffron can sell for Rs. 400 per gram or more, while lower grade saffron can be found for much less. However, a lower price does not necessarily translate into a lower level of quality, as different factors, such as the location of the manufacturing, may affect the price. It’s important to buy from a reliable supplier because some sellers might charge more for saffron that is of lower quality. As a result, it’s important to consider the price in relation to the saffron’s quality and other factors.

9.Purchase from reliable vendors

One of the best ways to make sure saffron is of high quality is to buy it from trustworthy sources. Look for saffron-specific vendors who have a good market reputation. They should be able to explain where, how, and under what conditions the saffron was produced. Saffron that is being sold in bulk at absurdly low prices should also be avoided because it might be fake or of low quality.

10. Examine Grading

Saffron is graded according to its quality. The top grade, “sargol,” is produced solely from the crimson stigmas of crocus flowers. “Pushal” is the second-highest grade, and “bunch” is the lowest. Saffron in the sargol or pushal grades is preferred because of their higher quality.

It may be challenging to select the best saffron, but you can make an informed decision by considering factors like purity, colour, aroma, moisture content, price, certification, source, and grading. Remember to buy from a reputable supplier and look for certificates to ensure you are getting the best saffron possible. With some knowledge and research, you can utilise the unique flavour, aroma, and colour of this wonderful spice.