Ingredients


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    Saffron

    Saffron is a very costly spice, used to flavor and color food. The spice is actually the dried stigma (tiny threadlike strands) of the Crocus Sativus Linneaus, a member of the iris family. Since the stigmas are hand-plucked from the individual flowers, saffron's high cost becomes more understandable. It is thought that saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. Saffron originated in the middle east, but is now also associated with Greek, Indian and Spanish cuisines. Fortunately, a very little saffron goes a long way — it is a spice to be added one thread at a time. Just a thread or two can flavor and color an entire pot of rice. The flavor is distinctive and pungent. Most 'saffron rice' mixes commercially available actually use a substitute which dyes the rice the distinctive yellow but which does not impart the flavor of true saffron. Saffron is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine, India's traditional system of health that relies on natural products, prevention and balance. It is used in remedies for everything from arthritis and asthma to infertility and impotence. Ancient Egyptians used saffron to treat kidney problems, and there are now research results that might suggest that one of the ingredients in saffron lowers (or assists in lowering) high cholesterol.