Where does saffron come from?

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Iranian Saffron
February 20, 2021
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Every day, number of chefs who became familiar with saffron and use it in their meals is increasing. Many chefs from Far East to Meddle East, Europe, Africa and especially North and South America consider this amazing spice in their recipe.

Among of all world regions, Middle East people are more familiar with saffron. Some Middle East countries like Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan are main producers of saffron.

In this page we are going to talk about the origin of saffron in past and now to address the answer of “Where does saffron come from?”.

Persian Saffron

Probably, you heard the name of saffron alongside the word of “Persian”. It’s not surprising. Because, from race point of view, 100 percent of world saffron is Persian. Of course, it doesn’t mean that all of world saffron is produced by Persian producers.

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On the other hand, Persian lands in ancient time was consist of many today countries like-Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, west part of India and west part of China. And these regions have been supply the saffron of world for many years.

Today, around 90 percent of whole market is supplied by Persian saffron producers.

From the quality point of view, it’s undeniable that Persian saffron is on top. Many items are effective on the quality of produced saffron.

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Crocus Sativus Plant

Weather, Soil, saffron bulbs quality and production method are most important ones. Accordingly, saffron production method is consist of cultivation method (farm preparation, saffron bulb planting, watering, harvesting) and also after harvesting processes (saffron flower conservation, separating red parts, saffron safekeeping, quality control and packaging).

Persian saffron producers because of long experience in saffron production, improve and reform all of these processes year to year and reached the optimum methods.

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Moreover, Persian Weather and soil (Especially east part of Persia) is perfect for saffron cultivation. In fact, appropriate Weather and soil is the result that Persian saffron farmers continued to plant crocus sativus from ancient time. 

All of these items together made Persian saffron the best saffron over the world that is well-known as red gold, too.

Anyway, Persian saffron producers have some weak points those created opportunity for saffron producers in other countries. All of these weak points are related to marketing issues directly or indirectly. 

Other countries

Marketing problems are the Achilles Heel of Persian saffron. Most important ones are packaging, Standards, international advertising, and foreign shipping. Each mentioned defects opened an opportunity for saffron producers in other countries like India, Turkey, Spain, etc.


Huge human resources in India made this country as one of the key players in future of world economy. Moreover, have a good background in spices helped saffron producers in India to progress in saffron production. Also, farmers in west part of India cultivate saffron in past as a part of ancient Persia. So, Indian saffron producers grab this chance by starting offline and especially online marketing. In this way, they introduced Indian saffron to world.  


Turkey is the most eastern country of Europe and have a long border with Iran. In fact, Turkey work as a bridge for Iran to access green continent.

Turkish merchants used weakness of Persian saffron producers in shipping to Europe and entered this business and introduced themselves as saffron suppliers to Europe.

That’s the reason that some users of Persian saffron in Europe known it as Turkish saffron. Of course wrongly!


As mentioned above, Persian saffron producers are weak in professional packaging and unable to get European standards because of political issues. This situation opened a big opportunity for Spanish companies to enter this business.

Although, there is some Spanish saffron producers, most Spanish companies import bulk Persian saffron from Iran directly or indirectly (Probably through Turkey) and pack it in small packages for retail marketing.

Also, by getting European standards for this saffron have a good share in the whole market.


In conclusion, Persian saffron represent the real and natural taste, aroma and color of saffron because of a long and deep background of saffron producers in Persia. Persian saffron offer you highest level of Crocin, Safranal and Picrocrocin the ingredients those are responsible for lovely red color and amazing taste of saffron.

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