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  • Writer's pictureFood Philosophy Editorial

Red gold...

"Food is medicine or poison," depending how you wield it.

It is from mythos that logos often proceeds and it is through Greek mythology that the origins of this significant botanical are rooted.

One day the son of Zeus, Hermes, the mischief-maker and messenger-god of Mount Olympus and Krokos, a youthful mortal were besting each other at sport.

The two friends were practicing discus throwing and Hermes accidentally clocked Krokus in the head and fatally wounded him...

It was the very spot he was fell to the ground that a beautiful flower sprang forth as three drops of blood from Krokos’s head were bled. From the center of the flower, three hair-like stigmas grew blood-red and so it is said, the aforementioned myth and flower, Crocus sativus, were born.

Anglicized as Saffron or known in Latin as Crocus satvius, this is a power-house botanical. It really is red gold. It's seemingly divine intelligence offers much in the way of super-food, healing, medicinal remedies and is exported world-wide since it is highly prized in culinary preparation and cosmetic application though not only.

Worth much more than its weight in gold, it is valued as "the most expensive spice in the world" costing between $500 and 5,000 USD for 450 grams or 1 pound equivalent. It requires 150,000 flowers to yield 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of dried saffron stigmas!

A hefty price as it is labor-intensive to harvest, making production costly since saffron is harvested by hand from the Crocus sativus flower and is known as “saffron crocus.” The term “saffron” applies to the flower's thread-like structure or floral stigma.

The name is appropriated from its origins in Northern Greece in the plains of western Macedonia and it is named as such, Krocus Kozani, where it is revered for its precious value and medicinal properties.

People have eaten and used saffron for centuries to enhance libido, boost mood and improve memory though not only. This botanical is mentioned in the Corpus Hippocratium (the Father of Western Medicine Greek treatise on healing and medicine written by Hippocrates himself) as well as ancient Hellenistic texts since many noblesse oblige used this wonderous spice to heal, cure and combined it with many a beauty regime though not only.

Saffron has huge anti-oxidant properties!

Notable saffron antioxidants include crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol (2).Crocin and crocetin are carotenoid pigments and responsible for saffron’s red color. Both compounds may have antidepressant properties, protect brain cells against progressive damage, a big anti-inflammatory, reduces appetite and aids weight loss (2, 3). Safranal gives saffron its distinct taste and aroma. Research shows that it may help improve your mood, memory, and learning ability, as well as protect your brain cells against oxidative stress.

I love this beautiful version of red saffron known as Krocus Kozanis. It bods beautifully in risotto, tisane with various nootropics such as ginger, cinnamon and/or nutmeg or infused in our elegant Food Curatorial, Imperial Broth.

(c) 2019 All rights reserved. @food.philosophy.reframe and @gfzaimis

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