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Saffron: on the trail of the most expensive spice in the world
  • 30'
  • Author : Jean-Charles Doria
  • 25-06-2009
  • Master : 1755

Saffron: on the trail of the most expensive spice in the world | France 2 | Envoyé Spécial

Saffron is becoming the most expensive food product in the world, ahead of Iranian caviar. Its taste, its perfume and its colour are highly prized by the greatest chefs of the gastronomic world. The spice is also becoming democratic and can be found in everyday cooking. Its price, which can vary from 5,000 to 30,000 euros a kilo, is already higher than that of gold bullion. Dealers are making fortunes by buying up local production at low prices in the markets of Iran, India and Morocco and reselling it at 10 to 30 times the price on the markets of the West. Yet, paradoxically, in Morocco for example, the producers of saffron live in poverty and are unable to get rich. With the price on the world market constantly rising, production is starting up again in France after having completely disappeared for a century. But this extremely profitable spice gives rise to numerous scams. No other spice is so adulterated as saffron (replaced with turmeric or, even worse, ground brick is added to increase the weight and therefore the price). Why does saffron cost so much? Because of the quality of its taste or because of the ancient methods of production? How can you distinguish between real and fake saffron? In France, has saffron really become the new goose that lays the golden eggs? An investigation in France and Morocco on the trail of the most expensive pistil in the world.