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Saffron; The gem of all spices

Saffron Saffron is the most expensive spice on Earth. This is because of the labour involved in growing and harvesting the spice. Saffron is the red-yellow stigma of the crocus flower and must be hand-picked during short annual flowering seasons. Each flower produces only three stigmas, so it takes approximately 150 flowers to yield just one gram of dry saffron threads. Luckily, very little saffron is needed for cooking. In fact, too much can make food bitter.   Imitation saffron is rampant in markets around the world (especially in Turkey), and even makes its way into Canadian products and stores. In particular, beware of safflower petals, which look a little like saffron, but are nearly flavourless. Any time you see...

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