Saffron: fakes and substitutes


Saffron is by far the most expensive spice, making it particularly rewarding for corruption, but who is familiar with the look and smell, can detect the difference.

False saffron or bastard saffron (safflower) is a name for safflower (Carthamus tinctorius), which was formerly used for dyeing silk. This spice colored the court less than true saffron, and no one brings their own flavor. The tubular flowers of safflower can be distinguished with the naked eye from the threadlike saffron stigma lobes. When the real saffron stigmas must be about two to three centimeters long, curled up like a funnel and notched. Saffron is also forged with the petals of the marigold color and wood (Sandelholzfasern).

Saffron-colored powder or even replaced by turmeric powder, pepper powder and powder of safflower. Dilations with nitrate or borax have been already proved.


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