So That is Why Saffron is so Expensive!

By Jani
Susanville, California
February 22, 2017 3:15pm CST
I remember one summer a friend of ours was going to try to make something with saffron, a recipe of his. He came back and told us never mind, the price of saffron is ridiculously high and he decided on something else to make for us which was equally delicious. The reason for the high price of saffron is how the stuff is harvested. It is harvested by hand - with tweezers! There is no alternative way currently. It takes up to 225,000 saffron seeds to make just one pound! I would not want to be the one having to do this job. I wonder though if the workers get the pay amount they deserve for all of that time plucking.
5 people like this
5 responses
• Pamplona, Spain
22 Feb 17
Its usually used a lot in Paella over here and it is expensive yes that is why I cannot buy it either.
2 people like this
• Susanville, California
22 Feb 17
I have never heard of that dish. I only know a few, mostly with rice.
2 people like this
• Susanville, California
22 Feb 17
Ahh, thanks for the information. Talk to ya later perhaps!
1 person likes this
@topffer (32991)
• France
22 Feb 17
Paella is the only dish where I put saffron. You need only 0.1 g for a big paella, but yes it is expensive.
1 person likes this
@topffer (32991)
• France
22 Feb 17
Saffron is the pistil of the flower, not the seed, and it has to be hand extracted, it is why it is so expensive. There is between 150 and 160 pistils in 1 g of saffron, but you can make 10 paellas or 20 risottos for a family of 4/5 with 1 g.
2 people like this
• Susanville, California
22 Feb 17
Ohhh, my mistake. I thought it was a seed. I see that it can go a long way at least. I wonder if there are smaller packages than just a pound, maybe that might be more affordable for people?
2 people like this
@topffer (32991)
• France
22 Feb 17
@jhechorain Indeed there are. French saffron is very expensive compared to North-African saffron, but it is top quality and you can buy a pack of 0.3 g for about $10.
1 person likes this
• Pamplona, Spain
23 Feb 17
Its true tops you are so right. The thing is they donĀ“t care for Saffron in this House so I never even bother to buy any. However they like it if they are out in a Restaurant or Bar. Then that is different.
@besweet (7232)
• Greece
22 Feb 17
It is expensive and gives a good taste. I have never cooked with saffron but I have tried it in restaurants. The workers are not the ones who get the most in those cases. I have no idea if they are paid more though.
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• Susanville, California
22 Feb 17
I don't have any idea how to cook with it either.
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@besweet (7232)
• Greece
22 Feb 17
@jhechorain With this price, we would have to find the perfect recipe to cook!
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• Susanville, California
22 Feb 17
@besweet Yes and hope it came out just perfect!
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@dragon54u (31556)
• United States
22 Feb 17
I was ignorant of the price, too, when I wanted to use it. Safflower is a fraction of the price and doesn't give you the flavor but it does give the color. Tumeric is a good substitute for saffron but not exactly like it. More affordable, though! I made a recipe once without the saffron it called for and it was very good even without it. Since I'd never tasted saffron I didn't know the difference and the dish was great.
1 person likes this
• Susanville, California
22 Feb 17
That is good advice. I think my friend may have actually used tumeric instead but i could be mistaken.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (116459)
• Bunbury, Australia
23 Feb 17
I've heard that it is harvested by hand and very slow work but I didn't know they used tweezers.
• Susanville, California
23 Feb 17
I would be too clumsy for this job.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (116459)
• Bunbury, Australia
23 Feb 17
@jhechorain Me too!