Pure saffron is actually only the tiniest part of the whole flower of saffron. Its actual colour and smell is a mixture of the purest two colours of both saffron and turmeric. It was so named because it first appeared in India about 200 years ago and its colour has been found to be white or even amber in some rarer cultures.
Taste and smell
There is a lot of debate as to the true, exact taste and smell of saffron, with many people describing it as fruity tasting and other saying it is overpowering and sour.
Some say it is very sweet, others say it is acidic (very strong taste) or bitter tasting. Its flavour and smell vary a lot, some people love it (the most common argument by comparison is if it was made in India, it would probably be just fine!) while others find it quite “sour” but some still prefer it over all the other kinds. For some, especially those with a strong aversion to acid, saffron was a huge disappointment as it was not as sour as they expected it to be.
The most popular version of saffron can be found in India where it is called “Dandia” (dung flowers), in Italy where it is called “Filippo” and in the US where it is called “Sunflower”. It is used in perfumes, soaps, toothpaste, hair care products, and in cooking. Some say you should always buy fresh and avoid the dried form for best results.
How is it grown?
To grow a good amount you need a well-drained soil, in fact one of the major benefits of living on your own garden is you have a great deal more time to garden and work on a number of other projects – and you do not miss your neighbours. Saffron grows well in most climates but is particularly good growing in tropical climates. The varieties you will find in shops are usually hybrids which can only be grown in that climate, though there are still few plants grown entirely in India and it’s possible if conditions are right.
How many kinds of saffron?
The official number of known species and varieties of saffron is 40, with some claiming as many as 80 varieties! Some are claimed as having 40 or more species, with a separate range for each one. The Indian cultivars of Saffron are in fact more diverse than the Italian or
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