What really is saffron?
Saffron is the threads (stigmas) from the saffron Crocus sativus flower. There are only 3 saffron stigmas (female part) referred to as saffron threads per flower. These threads must be picked by hand so you can understand why it is so prized and expensive. Just consider how many of the feather-light stigmas you actually have to collect in your basket to reach a pound of weight. It takes 80,000 blossoms or 240,000 hand-picked saffron stigmas (almost an acre of flowers) to make a single pound (454 grams), harvesting this precious spice is a back-breaking work.