Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Origin of saffron

Saffron (Crocus sativus) has an ancient origin and is well known as a cultivated crop. Crocus sativus was probably selected and domesticated in Crete during the Late Bronze. However latest studies suggested that saffron may have originated in Mesopotamian (Alavi-Kia 2008).

In ancient Greece, the people of Minoan and Cretan origin painted beautiful paintings of saffron collectors on their walls. Santorini, excavations, going back to the Bronze Age, - more than 5000 years ago have extremely well defined frescoes of saffron collectors, wearing their native garb.
From Crete, it spread to India, China and the Middle Eastern countries. Saffron is cultivated mostly in Iran, Spain and India. The word saffron probably comes from the Persian sahafaran that derives from asfar, meaning yellow.

Cultivation of saffron in Iran dates back to before Christ. It is believed that this plant has been cultivated in Palestine during the prophet Solomon and during Jesus they took it from Jerusalem to England.

In some Assyrian medicinal books going back to 7th century BC, 90 illness were supposed to be cured with the use of saffron.

The Romans praised the saffron of Cilicia, which they preferred to that grown in Italy. Asia Minor, Persia and Kashmir have been for a long time the courtiers which export the most.
Origin of saffron