Sofran is very expensive due to the difficulty of harvesting it. Farmers must harvest the delicate threads from each flower by hand. They then heat and cure the threads to bring out the flavor of the Sofran. This extra labor makes Sofran one of the most expensive spices in the world. This explains why buyers take a good time to learn how to identify a good Sofran.
How to use Sofran
One simple way to supplement a meal with saffron is to add a few strands to a cup of hot water. Doing this pulls most of the flavor from the saffron. A person can then add both the water and saffron to a savory dish at the end of cooking.
Sofran is also becoming more available as a supplement, generally in the form of powdered stigmas in capsules. It is important to read the instructions on the packaging and speak to a doctor before taking any new supplements.
Sofran is an excellent replacement for synthetic food additives- for eg: instead of FD and C yellow no 5: a synthetic food coloring agent that is a very common allergy trigger, Sofran’s glorious yellow could be an acceptable hypoallergenic choice.
What are the Health Benefits of Sofran?
Protects against cancer: Sofran contains a dark orange, water soluble carotene called crocin, which is responsible for much of Sofran’s golden color. Crocin has been found to trigger apoptosis [programmed cell death] in a number of different types of human cancer cells, leukemia, ovarian carcinoma, colon adenocarcinoma, and soft tissue sarcoma. Researchers in Mexico who have been studying Sofran extract have discovered that Sofran and its active components display an ability to inhibit human malignant cells. Not only does the spice inhibit cells that have become cancerous, but it has no such effect on normal cells and actually stimulates their formation and that of lymphocytes [immune cells that help destroy cancer cells].
Promotes learning and memory retention: Recent studies have also demonstrated that Sofran extract, specifically its crocin, is useful in the treatment of age related mental impairment. In Japan, Sofran is encapsulated and used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, memory loss and inflammation.
In delayed puberty: In under developed girls, Sofran has an overall stimulant effect. A pinch of Sofran crushed in a table spoon of milk is useful to stimulate hormones and bring about desired effect.
To increase vitality: In low libido, Sofran aids as a sexual stimulant and can be consumed in a dose of a pinch in a glass of milk at bed time.
In patchy baldness: Sofran mixed in liquorice and milk makes an effective topical application to induce hair growth in alopecia.
Protection against cold: Sofran is a stimulant tonic and very effective to treat cold and fever; Sofran mixed in milk and applied over the forehead quickly relieves cold.
How much is 1g of Sofran?
Sofran, the most expensive spice, is usually sold by the gram – just a small cluster of slender red threads in a tiny glass bottle. At the Spice House in Chicago, owners Tom and Patty Erd sell a gram of superior grade Sofran for $6.79, and an even finer version, known as coupé grade, for $8.29.