A Spanish Flavor
Having lived in Spain for over a decade, one locally-produced spice that I've become accustomed to seeing on the store shelves is "azafrán", which is derived from the Persian word za'ferân. Spaniards aren't known for enjoying strongly spiced foods, but the mild metallic honey-like flavor of saffron is a mandatory ingredient in a true paella and other traditional dishes. The luminous golden color and aroma it exudes makes them especially tempting.
Fortunately, only a small amount needs to be added to a dish to appreciate its color and aroma. Derived from the dried stigmas of the purple saffron crocus flower (Crocus sativus), it takes between 50,000 and 100,000 flowers to make just one pound of saffron (about 70,000 and 200,000 strands), depending on the variety.
Moreover, the flowers have to be individually hand-picked in the autumn when fully open. In Kashmir, during the harvest, thousands of growers must work continuously in relays over the span of one or two weeks throughout both day and night.
Check out these recipes:
Healthy saffron recipes