Afghanistan’s red gold ‘saffron’ termed the world’s best (Super Negin Grade)
Saffron comes from a type of crocus flower. It’s a common spice in Mediterranean cooking. Because it’s hard to harvest — it takes 75,000 flowers to get a pound of saffron — it’s one of the world’s most expensive spices. It’s been used as a traditional treatment for thousands of years.
Grading of Saffron is an intense time taking process that requires skills and years of practice to polish skills.
The war-ravaged country last year produced more than eight metric tons of the plant, described by some analysts as “red gold.”
The saffron cultivated and produced in Afghanistan has been recognized as the best in the world in quality for the eighth consecutive year, a member of the Saffron Producers Union in Kabul told a news conference.
“Every year, there is an improvement in saffron cultivation and production, and this improves the quality of our saffron,” said Bashir Ahmad Rashidi, head of the union.
According to the union, the quality and taste of the Afghan saffron were evaluated at an institution in Belgium and the local saffron’s color and taste made it the best worldwide.
Saffron is an excellent replacement for synthetic food additives- for eg: instead of FD and C yellow no 5: a synthetic food coloring agent that is a very common allergy trigger, Saffron’s glorious yellow could be an acceptable hypoallergenic choice.
With these Saffron benefits known to us, this culinary treasure has to be used and especially in the winter months. Here are some serving ideas:
1. For a wonderful marinade for fish, add saffron threads, garlic, and thyme to vinegar.
2. Use saffron to give cakes, pastries, and cookies a buttery golden hue and a rich aroma.
3. Cook biryanis with saffron combined with cloves, cinnamon, Indian bay leaves, and nutmeg for a memorable treat.
Uses and Benefits
The benefits and medicinal properties of this highly priced spice, make it a valuable culinary ingredient worldwide. Modern research suggests that saffron can be used for many health benefits as well which are as follow.
- Protects against cancer
- High blood pressure
- Athletic performance
- In patchy baldness
- Alzheimer disease.
- Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- An eye disease that leads to vision loss in older adults (age-related macular degeneration or AMD)
- Sexual problems caused by antidepressants (antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction)
- Metabolic side effects caused by antipsychotic drugs
- Burning pain in the mouth
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Muscle soreness caused by exercise
- A group of eye disorders that can lead to vision loss (glaucoma)
- High levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia)
- Conditions in a man that prevent him from getting a woman pregnant within a year of trying to conceive (male infertility)
- Fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Depression after childbirth (postpartum depression)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Symptoms of the menopause.
- Early male orgasm (premature ejaculation).
- “Hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis).
- Stomach gas.
- Other conditions.
How to Store Saffron
Keep saffron in an airtight container, in a dark, cool, and dry place. Do not keep it in the freezer, as the freezing temperature will reduce its aroma.
Drink Saffron Milk
Aside from being a tasty beverage, saffron milk is commonly believed to help brighten your complexion when routinely enjoyed several times a week.
- Boil 2 cups (500 ml) of whole milk over high heat.
- As soon as the milk boils, add 2 Tbsp (30 ml) sliced almonds, 1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) saffron threads, 1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) ground cardamom, and 1 to 2 Tbsp (15 to 30 ml) of honey. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Enjoy the drink while it’s still hot.