Saffron is often associated with the pious renunciation of material life. In the holy lands of India, it is very popularly used as a household spice. Buddhist monks wear saffron robes and the history of using saffron dates back to the time of the Gaelic-Irish era. However, when we talk about saffron, fond memories of it being used as a condiment come to mind. Indians cannot resist the delicacies of Kesar Kulfi, Falooda, Zaffrani Pulao and other ethnic desserts. Saffron is an exquisite household spice best served during religious or cultural occasions, touting a sweet and floral taste. Let us understand what makes saffron so special in the country, what are the most popular brands and why it's so expensive.
Did you know?
Saffron is the world's most expensive spice and over the past three decades, has garnered more interest than gold in weight globally due to its popularity in cosmetics, food, skincare, and health!
Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world, not just in India. The reason for its high market price is because it is grown in special weather conditions and the plant blooms for just one week of the year. A major portion of saffron is grown in Iran and about 1/10th in Kashmir, which means the rest gets imported. The second reason is that a lot of manual labour is involved in the picking and harvesting process. It takes about six hours to pluck 450 grams of mauve saffron and that requires 75,000 flowers for the yield.
Benefits of Consuming Saffron
Saffron is used as a skincare ingredient, cosmetics and in food recipes. There are many benefits to consuming saffron made in India or imported from abroad and some of them are:
- Saffron is known to be a natural immunity booster, providing protection against cough, colds and flu. Our ancestors have used it as a natural remedy for healing ailments.
- For those who suffer from insomnia or sleep problems, saffron provides a relaxing or calming effect, gently lulling its user into blissful sleep.
- Saffron is a great remedy for those who suffer from memory-related problems and there is a huge body of research that shows how the ingredient is useful for improving mental acuity, attention span, focus and retention rates.
- Pregnant women use saffron for treating menstrual cramps and the ingredient is used against a wide variety of allergies. The best part is that saffron is suitable for all age groups, as long as the product used is high-quality and 100% organic.
Also Read: Establishing a Tea House Franchise in India
How to Find High-Quality Saffron?
There are two ways to find out if the saffron you are buying is real or fake:
Soaking the strands in water - This will leech out the colour of the real saffron. Real saffron stays crimson red after soaking while fake saffron turns white.
By analysing its smell and taste - Real saffron smells sweet and tastes bitter. If the fragrance or texture is anywhere off, chances are it's fake.
Which Saffron Is Best?
When you think of what saffron to buy, there are three types that come to mind:
- Kashmiri Saffron (India)
- Spanish Saffron (Spain)
- Afghani Saffron (Afghanistan)
Kashmiri Saffron is the most expensive out of the three types and is most revered among consumers. The market demand for Kashmiri Saffron and long yield-time is what makes its price so high. This is why it's important to be careful when selecting the best organic saffron brand in India.
Best Organic Saffron Brand in India
Choosing the best organic saffron brand in India will depend on what type of saffron you're going for. From pure authentic Kashmiri, Laccha, Mongra, Gucchi and more, we have compiled a list of the top brands in India for buying high-quality saffron at your convenience.
Lion was established in 1957 and is one of the oldest and the best organic saffron brands in India. They are best known for organically growing their products and staying true to their word. Lion Saffron features a long-lasting shelf life and the brand sells grade A 100% pure Kashmiri Saffron. Their saffron is also excellent for brightening up pigmented skin.
2.Baby Brand Saffron
Baby Brand Saffron is a premium and handpicked pure saffron product made in India. Just as its name implies, it is designed to be used by pregnant women and is also safe for cooking purposes. Baby Brand started 175 years ago and is one of the oldest and best saffron brands in the world when it comes to maintaining quality and reputation. It is not easy to find such well-established organic saffron brands that provide value for money. And Baby Brand is one of them, being noted for having rare yellow strands with their signature crimson red saffron products.
3.House of Saffron Kashmiri Kesar
House of Saffron Kashmiri Kesar has been providing top quality products since 2021 and going strong. Their Mogra Kashmiri Saffron is a must-try and families hail it for adding a unique floral taste to dishes. They have a Shalimar Saffron too, which is rigorously tested according to FDA standards and there are no added colours, chemicals or preservatives mixed with their products. All saffron is packaged in air-tight glass jars and shipped worldwide. The saffron threads have to be dipped in hot water for 30 minutes before being used and usage instructions are always mentioned on their labels.
Omna Organic boasts of the best competitive prices when it comes to being a high-quality saffron brand in India. Kashmir Saffron and Kesar sold by Omna Organic have shown to give supple and glowing skin and the brand sells 100% pure organic saffron. The maximum shelf life for their products is 24 months and the brand has made a name for itself in the e-commerce saffron segment as well.
5.The Gathering of Saffron
The Gathering of Saffron has outlets in India but imports its spiced Spanish Saffron from outside the nation. The shelf life for its pure organic saffron is five years and their Spanish saffron is ideal for religious and cultural occasions. The brand has improved its packaging efforts, paying careful attention to detail over the years. It's not surprising to find recurring clients in their sales reviews and they're considered to offer some of the world's best saffron.
Which Country Has the Best Saffron in the World?
Although Iran is the world's largest producer of saffron, buyers say they get the best quality saffron in India.
There are mixed opinions about this, but according to the International Institute of Food Taste and Quality Measurement, Afghanistan's saffron production has been hailed as the best in the world. Competition is getting tough since many countries are trying to gain control over the saffron market in India and internationally.
Saffron has been used worldwide for generations and it's not surprising to know that it's a product that gets high market demand. It's always a good idea to buy saffron from reputed organic brands as that ensures you don't compromise on the quality or quantity. Khatabook is an app that lets you view the top saffron brands in India and you can get updates on the latest news, discounts and market deals on saffron at a moment's notice.Follow Khatabook for the latest updates, news blogs and articles related to micro, small and medium businesses (MSMEs), business tips, income tax, GST, salary and accounting.