Follow us to introduce different types of saffron and the best among them
To know the best type of saffron, you must first know the types of saffron and distinguish them from counterfeit saffron. The best type of saffron is very high quality and will add unique color and aroma to all kinds of food, sweets, and drinks. Follow us to introduce different types of saffron and the best among them.
Types of saffron
Types of saffron are classified based on saffron flower strings. Each string consists of two parts, stigma and style. The stigma is the red part of the saffron color on which the aroma and color of the saffron depend. The yellow or white style is the end of the saffron string and, contrary to popular belief, has no effect on the saffron aroma. Based on stigma and style, saffron is divided into the main categories of Pooshal, Sargol, Daste, and Negin.
1. Daste Saffron
The Daste saffron consists of stigma and style and includes a whole string of saffron, which is why it is also called whole string saffron. After drying, the saffron strands are put together in a bunch. Putting them together is one-sided and two-sided.
In the one-sided method, the stigmas and styles are each on one side, while in the two-sided method, the styles are placed in the middle and the stigmas are placed around. For this reason, saffron is very beautiful and attractive in two-sided forms. This saffron is also called Dokhtarpich (girl mixed) saffron. This type has 120 to 150 units of coloring power and for this reason, it has a high color and aroma power.
۲. Negin Saffron
Negin saffron is one of the most expensive types of saffron with a coloring power of about 230 to 270 units. This type of saffron is known as the best type of saffron and only contains large saffron stigmas and has a large volume. This saffron has no breakage and softness and is stronger in appearance and color than Sargol. Negin saffron production process is very expensive and time-consuming.
3. Pooshal Saffron
Pooshal saffron has a coloring power of 25 to 170 units. This saffron consists of three large strands connected to each other and because the strands are twisted together, it has a larger volume and its possibility of being fake is much less. It also has a very small amount (about two to three millimeters) of style. Due to the presence of style, many people consider Pooshal saffron as the original saffron. This type of saffron is not much different from Sargol saffron and only it contains cream is less.
4. Sargol or Mumtaz saffron
Sargol saffron contains only three separate stigma branches and therefore has a very strong color and aroma because the style (yellow and white part of the saffron string) is separated from it. The coloring power of this saffron is 210 to 260 units. Therefore, Sargol saffron is known as one of the most common, popular, and widely consumed types of saffron.
This type of saffron is called All Red abroad. Sargol or Mumtaz saffron may have a very small amount of style with it.
Features of the best saffron
Standards are set around the world to determine the best saffron. These standards show that no additives are added to the saffron and the saffron is completely pure and natural. For this reason, to recognize the best saffron, we can refer to the standard marks on the product. If the saffron lacks standard markings, it may be counterfeit and of poor quality.
These standards are different in each country. In Iran, standards 1-259 and 2-259 are used to determine the quality of the best type of saffron. This standard examines the quality of saffron in terms of aroma, color, and taste.
You should note that quality saffron does not have artificial color. That is, saffron should not be dyed. Because some people dye the style and sell it instead of stigmas, or redden the stigmas of other flowers and introduce it as saffron.
The stigmas of other flowers are usually shorter than the main stigma of saffron and do not have the chemical composition of saffron. Ground and powdered saffron are also more likely to be counterfeit, as red soil or other red spices may be added.
In some cases, saffron is sprayed with substances such as honey, oil or sugar, and sodium sulfate to make saffron heavier and more expensive to sell. As we said, saffron should not be impregnated with additional substances. Do not forget that saffron smells of honey and alfalfa and its taste is a little bitter and astringent. Saffron has no sweet taste at all.
In general, it can be said that the best saffron is of the string type, and among the types of string, saffron that has more coloring power, such as Negin or Sargol saffron, is of much higher quality and is known as the best saffron that will have the following characteristics:
1. High price and valid standards
۲. Dry and brittle strands (strands should not be wet or soft)
3. Intact strings (strings should not be broken or small)
4. Fresh and sweet smell and astringent and sometimes spicy taste (saffron does not have a sweet taste despite its smell)
5. The same size of the length of saffron strings
6. Different colors of saffron strands (if the amount of red and yellow strands is exactly the same, it is likely that the saffron is counterfeit)
7. Red color of saffron strands (red color of saffron is similar to orange color)
8. Production date updated (the newer the production date, the better the saffron)
The best type of saffron is the one prepared properly and in a suitable place. Therefore, knowing the types of saffron and examining the points about cultivation and how to cultivate saffron can help to choose the best saffron.