Saffron’s popularity is increasing, and while some say it is not cost-effective, others say a lot can be avoided, including the cost of transporting the saffron, and the potential for quality control problems. But saffron, like many other herbs in India, has grown tremendously in recent years, with prices from a few thousand Rupi tipples in the late 1990s to several million tipples today.
The world’s most expensive spice.
India is known locally for many of the world’s rarest spices. While they’re not known for being exotic, the value of their rare goods is quite high, and the production and marketing of these special blends has spawned a business of its own; some of the finest, purest saffron is being cultivated in India today. One popular type of spice is the jaggery, which, although it’s produced in Sri Lanka, is much more expensive there than in India. It’s sold in packets by the kilo for around $500.
Saffron’s popularity is not limited to India, of course. For example, people from India, France, China, and Sri Lanka flock to Thailand to visit spices and traditional medicines such as ayurvedic medicines. Also, the more than 100 herbs found in India’s most popular cooking herbs, such as daun gow, dhania, and gandha, all have extremely high prices. But what most people can’t live without, when they travel to India, is saffron.
Many people prefer pure saffron to the white chai variety. However, both varieties of chai contain large amounts of caffeine that can cause headaches and even blindness if consumed long enough. These same ingredients in Indian chai also pose a health risk to the consumer.
What is the highest price of saffron in India and how has it increased?
Currently, the most expensive saffron is saffron tawnya, which is grown in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka. From a cost per pound perspective, tawnya is considerably cheaper than the cheaper varieties. However, since 2002, saffron has skyrocketed from around 50 to 250 kms/kg, which is a cost per kilo that has increased by at least a factor of three.
In 2008, the Indian government announced a ban on the sale of saffron to protect consumers from these dangerous contaminants. The government cited numerous health concerns regarding the
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