SAFFRON QUALITY BY REGION
Saffron is grown on a commercial scale primarily in India, Spain and Iran.
The Spanish saffron always has a portion of yellow style attached to the stigma (Red Filament).
Iranian saffron has a very thin and small stigma. In one variety these stigmas are joined and attached to a short style and is known as Pushali. In the other variety the stigmas are attached to the full-length style and tied in the form of a bunch of several hundred stigmas with their tong styles. This is known as Iranian Guchhi. The effective yield of stigmas from these bunches is just about 50% (Since the stigmas of Iranian Saffron are very short).
The Indian (Kashmiri) saffron has been acknowledged to be the finest in the world. Pure saffron always has a very long thick stigma with a bright red colour and strong flavour and intense aroma.
The ancient fields near Pampore are the natural cultivation grounds for this legendary crop, where no special efforts have been input interns of soil fertilizers, environmental aids or R. N. D. Programs. The nature has bestowed upon these fields a well drained light textured loamy soil and the climate is just apt for this exotic plant to bloom in splendor.
The Kashmiri saffron is of two basic varieties:
- LACHHA: In the variety the 3-stigmas are attached to the style very much in the same way as in Iran the accept that the effective yield of Stigmas in this variety is about 75%. (The long and thick stigmas account for the excess yield.)
- MONGRA: This Variety has only thick, long stigmas (Red Filaments) and no other part of saffron flower and is obtained by separating stigmas from the yellow styles. It is the purest form of saffron and commands premium price all over the world.