(Crocus sativus) is the stigma of the purple crocus. It is a member of the lily family and originates in the Middle East. It is vibrant in its smell and is used world wide.

In various parts of the world it has been used to prevent gas (carminative), used to bring on sweating (diaphoretic), and as a sleep aid in Japan. Saffron has a rich dark orange color that contains many antioxidants. In Mexico research has indicated that it holds active compounds that can aide in the ability to prevent the growth of malignant cancer cells.

It is an expensive spice because it is labor intensive process of producing it. Avoid using other intense spices with it for the flavor will be over powered. This spice works well with omelets, fish soups, Spanish dishes such as paella, and marinades for fish.