Saffron is one of the most precious spices in the world. The threadlike red stigmas—and the yellow hue they impart—are quite literally the stuff of legend. But what is saffron, exactly? No matter how many tales have been told about the spice, a lot of us still don’t know what to do with it or whether its worth the high cost. Here’s everything you need to know.
How to test saffron Saffron threads are trumpet shaped, if they don’t look like trumpets it’s probably not real saffron. Many sellers use safflower or corn silk then spray it to look like saffron. Take a pinch of saffron (about 5-7 threads) and put in a cup of cold water. Pure saffron will slowly release a golden hue