is produced from the dried stigmas of a beautiful little autumn-flowering crocus (Crocus sativus) and it’s literally worth its weight in gold. This exotic spice lends its golden color, pungent flavour, hay-like fragrance, and slight metallic notes to both sweet and savoury dishes, as well as drinks. The ancient Persians cultivated saffron in the 10th century BC as a dye, perfume and medicine. They added it to hot teas to treat bouts of melancholy. Cyrus the Great, founder of the first Persian Empire, had it sprinkled in his bath water as a royal body wash. Alexander the Great and his forces learned of this practice and, taken with saffron’s perceived curative properties, brought the custom back with them to Macedonia. Each hand-picked crocus blossom contains three red stigmas which are dried and fermented slightly to produce the spice. Harvesting and processing the stigmas is a fiddly and labour-intensive business, not suited to mechanisation. It takes 14,000 stigmas to produce one ounce (28 grams) of product, so you can see why saffron is the world’s most expensive spice! A little goes a very long way, however, so you can regularly enjoy its culinary and other properties without breaking your budget. We’re thrilled to share authentic Iranian saffron with Kiwi cooks. Click on the links to learn more about Pure Saffrona and our products.

Persian Saffron

Persia’s geographical location and fertile soil produce saffron with a unique flavour and outstanding aroma. That’s why Iranian saffron is considered the world’s best. Iran is responsible for around 90–93% of global saffron production. Much of that is exported. In recent times, other countries have taken advantage of Iranian sanctions by purchasing the product at a lower price, re-packaging it and selling it under their own brands. This means Iranian saffron farmers are not getting credit for their product. It also means they have very little bargaining power when it comes to price. They work hard to produce the very finest produce but their communities, working conditions and lives don’t benefit. By choosing to buy authentic Iranian saffron, you are supporting the people who actually grow it.

Novin Saffron

Pure Saffrona’s goal is to supply A-grade, high-quality Iranian saffron to kitchens all over New Zealand. It’s important that our products are ethically-produced and fairly-sourced. Our provider, Novin Saffron is the biggest and most innovative saffron producer in the world. Since 1992, Novin Saffron has set the standard in saffron quality with a series of world-firsts: Quality management system: ISO 9000 (1996) Food safety management: first saffron producer in the world to receive HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) certification (1998) Environmental management: world’s first saffron producer to receive ISO 14001 accreditation (2001) Every year, discerning buyers around the world show their confidence in Novin Saffron by choosing its products over all others. The Novin Saffron brand name on a product is your guarantee that it meets the highest standards of quality.

Saffron for Health

Dr Subhuti Dharmananda, director of the Institute for Traditional Medicine (Portland, Oregon, USA) notes in Saffron: An anti-depressant herb that for centuries Middle Eastern people have used saffron to relieve stomach-aches, kidney stones, and improve blood circulation.

Other traditional medicinal uses for saffron include:

  • Treating acne (when applied topically)
  • Regulating menstruation
  • Easing coughs and asthmatic breathing
  • Reducing fever and inflammation
  • Calming nervousness
  • Alleviating depression

Dr Dharmananda says in Tibet saffron is considered a tonic for the heart and nervous system, and is commonly used in medicinal incenses.

Science is now examining these claims with exciting results, particularly in the areas of mental health and cancer research.

Quality Saffron