We have to talk about quality, because saffron is expensive. Most traditional commercial-grade saffron is about 25-50% cheaper. The difference is between an 8-10 lb bag from a commercial center and a 1-2 lb bag from a home center. So to get the same quality as the commercial one, you would need about 1.5- 2 lbs of fresh saffron per pound of grain, or 100 lbs per pound.
Do you sell it at home?
We don’t sell it at home, it is very expensive. Why? Because it is too difficult to grow, you can’t grow saffron in most arid areas like California, Nevada, Nevada Canyon, Texas, etc., etc. It goes through all these conditions very easily and is a very difficult variety to get right. Then you have to process it at room temperature to make it look and smell good.
In the commercial world, they grow the saffron very close to the ground—that is the safest possible growing conditions—as it is their bread as they make the saffron. To make the bread, people add water and it takes a long time to go through the saffron grain and it takes much more power to do that with refrigeration, and also, we don’t sell the saffron on the retail market—you have to go in store to buy it. So the saffron at home, which is what we sell, it’s at least a month long.
Also, this is the most popular spice in India and all over the world, and everybody is trying to eat it, so it becomes very expensive.
How hard is it to keep the saffron fresh?
In India, if you were to find a small farm and you bought it in the summer, it was probably not a problem. They would pick it at three months. You would never know. But in the winter, in the desert, you know the weather is gonna be very bad, they would pick it in the winter and then in the winter, we keep it at two to three months, so it’s very bad. But once you get it back into the house, the smell comes back and you can smell it on the stove in there, because it stays fresh for longer and it doesn’t smell as bad.”
But they keep that on the stove for two to three months?
No, but there’s a way we process
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