World’s best saffron – “Kashmiri Saffron”, also known as “Kashmiri Kesar”, From Pampore – “The Saffron Town of Kashmir”. It has been growing in Kashmir for more than hundred years. It is derived from the crocus sativus flower and is handpicked by women on full moon nights and is dried. It is hand harvested only and no technology, pesticides, or additives are used. More than 75,000 crocus flowers are needed to produce one pound of saffron. The climatic and geographical conditions of Kashmir, gives saffron the medicinal values and the chemical free and serene environment of it gives it the intense color, aroma and deep pungent taste. Only 200 kgs of saffron is produced in Kashmir. It received a Geographical Identification tag from the Government of India in 2020.
Kashmiri Saffron is rich in antioxidants and has antispasmodic anti-inflammatory properties. Initially saffron was cultivated in Greece, but now it is cultivated in India, Iran and Spain. The reason why Kashmiri saffron is different from the other’s because it grows at an altitude of 1600 m above the sea level and it has the highest levels of safranal, crocin and picrocrocin. It contains potassium, carbohydrates, manganese, protein, vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin B6. It has great nutrition value and is a bundle of health benefits like: boosts immunity, reduces inflammation, helps in fighting alzheimer's and depression, good for pregnant ladies, reduces blood pressure, boosts haemoglobin levels, aids digestion, reduces heart diseases, fights allergies, improves skin and hair, a remedy against cough and cold, promotes weight loss, reduces the sign of PMS, improves heart health, eases mood swings and limits cholesterol.
Kashmiri Saffron is rare and the most expensive spice in the world. It is a warming comfort food and by weight is said to be worth its weight in gold. It adds richness to the dishes and is used in many cuisines and is used to make desserts, milk, ice-creams, yogurts, biryani etc. It is an exotic spice and is infused with green tea called “Kahwa”. In India, it is used for religious purposes as well.