Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Spice Trade

Four centuries ago spices and tea had some role in the colonization of India. Come on, spices! When we were there, we went to Kashmir, one of the few places in the world that arguably the most valuable spice, pound for pound, saffron is grown. It can bring in anywhere from $500-$700 a POUND.

What is saffron anyway? It’s the stigma of a flower…this little strand inside bud the flower and there are only 2-4 inside each flower. So that means that 166 flowers have to be hand picked to make a gram (as heavy as a paper clip). Usually, most spices are sold by the ounce, so for those of you keeping track that is 4,700 flowers, hmm…that’s a lot of flowers, can you picture 4,700 flowers in a field, flowers in bloom. If you do the math the numbers just become mind blowing, but there are 16 ounces in a pound which make roughly 75,000 flowers!!!

Imagine 75,000 or so flowers in a field all in bloom...$500 seems like a bargain.

1 comment:

ZP said...

one of those pics we took of the saffron would go great here!