Afghanistan is often in the news for its opium and extremist groups. However, Afghanistan has a positive side, “Saffron“. Afghani Saffron has ranked as the best saffron in the world for eight consecutive years.
Why Saffron in Afghanistan?
Afghanistan’s climate condition is suitable for Saffron production, such as Herat Province is known for mild winter with heavy snowfall and hot summers.
According to Afghan officials, saffron in Afghanistan produces 14 leaves, while saffron from other countries can produce up to five leaves in one plant. It’s is commonly known as “Red Gold” in Afghanistan.
Types of Afghani Safrron
Pushal is the cheapest and most commonly sold Saffron trim in stores. Since Saffron is so expensive, many distributors take advantage of consumers by selling them the orange and yellow portions of the thread to increase their profit margins. Since these yellow parts of the stigma contain no value, consumers end up paying much more in reality for an inferior product.
When compared to Sargol and Super Negin, Negin is longer and contains some yellow and orange portions of the thread. To put it in simple words, the aroma, quality, and purity are still great but you do pay for some portions of the yellow and orange threads, which are lower quality.
3. Super Negin
The most expensive and best quality of saffron. Super Negin saffron is known not only for being the most potent but also for its aesthetically pleasing features. Super Negin threads are longer and contain no yellow or orange threads. The threads are cut symmetrically and contain no crumbs. When comparing all the trims of Saffron, Super Negin is the most sought after for those who want the best of the best.
Means “Top of the flower” in Farsi. Sargol is a sub-type of Persian saffron that derives from the very tip of the saffron thread. Hence, its name is “top of the flower.” It also has a specific, powerful aroma. Generally speaking, Sargol saffron is considered to be of a high quality due to its lack of Yellow or Orange threads. Sargol can be easily recognized thanks to its full and deep red colour and short threads. On the downside, Sargol saffron often contains crumbs and broken threads.
Afghani Super Negin Saffron is known for its aroma. It needs to be stored accurately to protect it. Storing it properly helps preserve the saffron for a longer period. Saffron does not spoil but will lose its flavour over age.
The compounds in saffron Crocin and picrocrocin are highly sensitive to light as a result the harvesting of flowers is done before sunrise. When exposed to light saffron tends to lose its aroma and taste.
Saffron must be kept in a glass bottle well sealed to avoid interaction with air. Plastic cases must not be used. The best aroma and taste of saffron is in its first two years.
Saffron is one of those spices that work well in both sweet and savoury dishes. Saffron ice cream is Persian and is called bastani in Farsi. Most versions include rose water along with saffron. The saffron gives an earthy background note to rose water’s strong floral flavour. Saffron ice cream is a brilliant yellow, a colour it gets from saffron and from egg yolks used in the base.
Super Negin Saffron is the best choice when making Saffron Tea. People in Afghanistan consume it this way mainly for its health benefits. Saffron tea is an effective antidepressant and may help to lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease.
The tea consists of saffron threads steeped in hot water for about 20 minutes.