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What Does Saffron Taste Like? Know Everything About the Queen of Spices

Saffron is one of the most popular and definitely the most expensive spices worldwide. Not everyone can afford it as merely a pinch of it costs hundreds of bucks. However, those who have eaten it know that Saffron is worth the money. No other spice tastes the same; that is why people call it the “Queen of Spices” and “Red Gold.”  

So, What does Saffron taste like? 

Saffron tastes floral, sweet, and flavorsome; all at once.  When you add it to any food, you will feel all of these flavors from the very first bite you take. That is why those who consume it never forget it. 

But there are some problems people face regarding Saffron. We are discussing this in detail along with how you should buy and use this Red Gold. So, stay till the end if you want to know everything about Saffron that’s relevant. 

Table of Content

What Does Saffron Taste Like? 

We have already discussed that Saffron has a floral and sweet taste. But it gets even better if you use it the right way (described later in this article). When you add it in a proper way, your food will taste earthy with a subtle hint of honey-like sweetness. 

There is no doubt that Saffron is unique in its own way. Not only the taste but people also love other things about this spice. 

People often search, What does saffron smell like? Well, saffron itself has an earthy aroma that feels like flowers. So, the question now arises- what does saffron do to food? It adds an aroma to a food that has a touch of both sweet and floral sensations. Thus, it makes the experience of eating food containing saffron truly enjoyable. 


Some people have complained online that the Saffron tastes bitter. The reason behind it was found that they were given low-quality spice in the name of saffron. True saffron does not disappoint its consumer. 

saffron facts infographic

How to Know About the Quality of Saffron?

The identification of the natural and real saffron is fairly easy. It is blood red with tips of orange or yellow color. So, if you see the saffron that is completely red, it means that it is of poor quality. Lower quality Saffron or those who have impurities is often dyed with red color to imitate the best quality Saffron. 

The test you can conduct to know the quality is also simple. Just add saffron to the hot water and wait for at least 20 minutes. Fake saffron that has been dyed releases the dye color. Contrarily, the redness of the Top quality saffron does not change even after putting it in warm water. True and high-quality saffron releases only a pale yellow that will make the hot water kind of look like tea. 

Another test you can do is drinking saffron water. Yep, you read that right! Put a few threads of Saffron in the water and let them stay there for some time. Next, remove the saffron and take a sip of the water. 

Wondering What does real saffron tastes like? If the water has an earthy taste with a floral and sweet smell, it means the Saffron was real saffron. Fake saffron generally makes the water bitter. So, if you do get any chance to consume real saffron, savor it!

Let us tell you briefly how you should cook with Saffron.

How to Use Saffron? Some Cooking Tips!

Cooking with saffron is fun as you do things that feel like a scientific experiment. Here’s how you should properly use saffron to harness its qualities. 

You should not add threads directly during the cooking. The optimal way of adding saffron is by making its liquid. Add threads of saffron in warm water and let it stay there for a few minutes. It is this liquid that we will be adding to the food. The reason is, this way ensures that the saffron flavor gets distributed to every part of the dish. 

Moreover, we suggest you avoid powdered saffron as it is not on that level of the original saffron threads. 


In which dishes you can add Saffron? 

Generally, people love to add saffron to the rice. Just add a pinch of saffron in the water and then add this water during the middle of the cooking. 

Saffron is also added to the chicken, sushi, and beef to enhance the flavor. It is recommended that you add saffron at the beginning of cooking any meat so that it leaves a mark on every ingredient. 

You can also make saffron tea from the threads. Ancient people used to drink it which not only gives a boost of energy but also improves the mood. So, What does saffron tea taste like? It does not taste like regular tea at all. Although it is sweet, it gives a flowery scent. Hence, only a few sips of saffron tea is enough to boost your mood. However, not everyone can enjoy this luxury as Saffron is super costly. 

Why Is Saffron So Expensive? 

Saffron is extracted from the flower of the Autumn crocus plant which exhibits low yield. The plant produces flowers for only one week in the whole year. In addition, only three stigmas appear on the Autumn crocus flower. It means that almost 80,000 flowers are required to have a pound of saffron. 

Let us astonish you more with another fact. A pinch of Saffron means that it contains about 20 stigmas from at least seven different Autumn crocus flowers. Hence, it is understandable that Saffron is costlier than any other spice in the world. 

Moreover, Saffron cannot be grown everywhere. It is highly sensitive to the surroundings and only prefers semi-arid regions where dry air flows too. Want to know where does Saffron comes from? Afghanistan is considered to be the ideal location to grow this red gold. Other places where it can grow are Iran, India, Greece, and some parts of Morocco. 

Saffron is expensive in all parts of the world. If you see the saffron price for just a few bucks, don’t get excited and move on to do your other things. Only fake saffron gets sold at such prices. Real saffron threads are sold for hundreds to thousands of dollars. 


In addition to taste, smell, and price, you should also know what saffron does to a body. 

Health Benefits of Saffron

Those curious about saffron search, What is saffron used for? Well, the modern world has limited it to cooking only. Saffron has a long medical history that has been used in curing patients of asthma, cough, cold, flu, and memory loss. Ancient people also used to make saffron tea or saffron milk to cure heart diseases and insomnia.

Below are the health benefits you can enjoy after consuming Saffron: 

Rich in Antioxidants

Free radicals are considered to be one of the biggest threats to health. They roam freely in the body and try to mutate the DNA. Hence, the uncontrolled development of cancerous cells happens. Luckily, Saffron has been shown to protect the body from oxidative stress and free radicals. How? Well, the antioxidants in it are just like true warriors. The crocin, safranal, and kaempferol antioxidants destroy free radicals whenever they see any. 

Anti- Depressant

Life is getting busier and more and more people are being diagnosed with depression. Mental health is indeed a serious topic and effective treatment is necessary to live a happy life. One way you can deal with depression and sadness is by consuming saffron. People who consume Saffron have called it a sunshine spice. Its floral aroma feels like a ray of hope. 

Weight Loss

Saffron is known to reduce appetite which can be helpful if you are trying to lose weight. A study was conducted on women that were given saffron regularly for eight weeks. It was found that they felt full most of the time, so weight loss became easier for them. 

Protects Heart

Another study was conducted which found that saffron is effective in stabilizing blood sugar levels. In addition, eating saffron does not let any fat clog the arteries. Thus, the chances of a heart attack or a heart stroke get minimized. 

A Very Minimum Quantity Is Enough

A 30mg saffron a day is more than enough to experience all the beneficial effects described above. So, it is a sigh of relief considering its high price. 

Generally, there are no side effects of having saffron. However, if you consume more than five grams, then you may face some problems.

Similarly, pregnant ladies often question, Is saffron safe during pregnancy and the answer is complicated. A minute amount of saffron does not cause any damage. However, 10 grams of more saffron has detrimental effects on both the mother and the baby and this quantity can even cause miscarriage in some incidents. 


Question: What does Saffron taste like in Rice?

Answer: Saffron spice gives a heaven-like touch to the rice. It provides a floral aura to it which smells divine. A little hint of sweetness is also introduced in the rice when you add saffron to it. People also ask, What does saffron risotto taste like? Well, most people have described that it makes every rice grain flavorsome. However, make sure you are adding only high-quality saffron to it. 

Question: What does Saffron go with? 

Answer: You can add Saffron in pretty much everything. However, it is most commonly added to rice, meat, and some vegetables like Okra to enhance the flavor and taste. 

Question: Where Does Saffron Come from?

Answer: Saffron is commonly grown in Afghanistan, India, Greece, and some parts of Morocco. Now, Italy, France, and some Southern European areas have also started to grow it. The best saffron among these areas is from Afghanistan. The reason is its ideal semi-arid climate where dry winds are also blown which is liked by the Autumn Crocus plant. 

Final Words

All-inclusive, Saffron is perhaps the most expensive food ingredient on this planet. It can range from hundreds of bucks to even thousands, depending upon the demand and quality. But no other spice or food can give any competition to this red gold in terms of flavor and aroma. 

We are definitely not exaggerating as the taste of this sunshine spice really outdo its competition. So, What does Saffron taste like?

Saffron is unique as it provides sweet, divine, and floral flavor at once. However, you have to be smart and delicate while adding this delight. First, add the saffron threads to a cup of warm water. Let it stay there for a few minutes. Then, add this water to the dish you are cooking. By doing this, you have equally distributed the saffron. Thus, you can enjoy this sunshine spice in every bite.

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