Saffron is the name given to a bulbous cultivated plant known as Crocus sativus as well as the spice derived from the flower of that plant, which belongs to the Crocus genus in the iris family (Iridaceae), blooms in the fall, and reaches a height of 20-30 cm. The plant has blade-like leaves and purple flowers with three stigmas. Together with the petiole, or the part that connects the leaves as well as the flower and stigmas to the stem, the male reproductive organs are dried to create saffron spice, which lends both its color and aroma to dishes. The plant is predominantly grown in Spain, France, Italy, and Iran.
It takes 80,000 flowers to produce half a kilogram of saffron. It can also dye water 100,000 times its weight into a yellow hue. Saffron spice has a sharp taste and a scent that resembles iodoform or hay. The scent is caused by the chemical components picrocrocin and safranal. The spice also includes a carotenoid (organic pigment) named crocin, which adds a golden-yellow hue to any dish where it’s incorporated. These qualities make saffron a highly sought-after spice around the globe. The word “saffron” was derived from the Arabic word “asfar,” meaning “yellow,” and over time the Arabic word for saffron, “za’faran,” became “safranum” in Latin, “zafferano” in Italian, and “azafrán” in Spanish. It later came to be called “safran” in French, which is where we get the English “saffron.” At Demirsoy Tarim, we are proud to see our organic saffron production grow exponentially each year, and we aim to reach our goal of producing 10 tons of saffron bulbs in 2021.