What are the different grades of saffron?
Saffron is graded based on its color, and thread structure. The five common grades of saffron are:
Grade 1 (Super Negin): This is the most expensive saffron grade with the most vibrant color and longest threads. It has a strong aroma and intense flavor, making it highly sought after for culinary purposes. Grade 1 saffron is usually handpicked and consists of only the top portion of the saffron stigma.
Grade 2 (Sargol): Sargol saffron is also of high quality but may have slightly shorter threads compared to Super Negin. It has a deep red color and provides a rich flavor and aroma. Sargol saffron is commonly used in various dishes and is considered a good choice for both culinary and medicinal applications.
Grade 3 (Pushal or All-Red): Pushal saffron consists of whole strands with some yellow or orange styles attached to the red stigma. It has a milder flavor and aroma compared to higher grades but is still of good quality. Pushal saffron is often used in recipes where the presentation of the saffron threads is not desired.
Grade 4 (Dasteh or Bunch): Dasteh saffron consists of the whole saffron threads, including the yellow or orange styles and the red stigmas. The threads are collected and tied together in a bunch-like form. While Dasteh saffron is less visually appealing than other grades, it can still be used in cooking and adds flavor, aroma, and color to dishes.
Grade 5 (Style): Style saffron refers to the yellow or orange part of the saffron threads, which is the stigma without the red part. It is primarily used in pharmaceutical applications, as it lacks the intense color but still retains the beneficial properties and flavor of saffron. Style saffron is usually more affordable than the higher grades and is preferred for medicinal purposes.
Each grade of saffron has its unique characteristics and applications. It's essential to consider the grade and quality of saffron based on your specific needs, whether it's for culinary purposes, medicinal uses, or other applications.
What are the Saffron selection and grading criteria at Saffronice?
At Saffronice, our saffron selection process goes beyond just the length of the stigma. We prioritize various science-based criteria to ensure the highest quality saffron for our customers. Our focus is on sourcing saffron from non-GMO bulbs, as we believe in offering a natural and wholesome product. Additionally, we carefully consider the drying methods used, preferring saffron that has been naturally dried rather than using industrial dryers, to preserve its rich flavor and aroma.
We also take into account the freshness of the saffron. Our saffron is sourced from the current season, ensuring that you receive the freshest and most potent saffron available. We avoid saffron that has been stored for extended periods, as it may lose its quality over time.
While color and shape are important visual indicators, we believe they alone do not determine the quality or price of saffron. Instead, we focus on the overall quality factors that contribute to saffron's taste, aroma, and medicinal properties. By adhering to these rigorous standards and selecting saffron based on scientific criteria, we strive to deliver saffron of exceptional quality and value to our customers at Saffronice.