Oct 30, 2019, 10:07 AM
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117,5 tons saffron exported from Khorasan Razavi
saffron in Iran

A sum of 117.5 tons saffron was exported from Khorasan Razavi province in the first half of the Iranian year, started on March 21, 2019.

Saffron is cultivated in 22 Iranian provinces, but Khorasan Razavi, North Khorasan and South Khorasan provinces in Eastern Iran account for almost 90 percent of the country's total saffron output.

The saffron industry has created some 200,000 jobs along the pre-harvest, harvest, post-harvest, processing, sorting and packaging chain.

The head of Khorasan Razavi Agriculture Jihad Organization told IRNA on Wednesday that this amount of export of saffron strategic product from Khorasan Razavi shows %1 growth compared to the same period last year.

Mohammad Reza Orani added that in the first half of last year, 115 tons of saffron produced in the province were exported to foreign countries.

The priceless plant was sent to more than 50 countries. Spain, Vietnam, Qatar and the UAE were Iran’s biggest saffron importers during last year.

Iranian Saffron known as the “red gold”, saffron is a magical ingredient in Persian culture, from aromatic foods and colorful desserts, to the physical and spiritual medicine. The expensive spice has long been a high-demand commodity and even triggered a war in 1374 in central Europe. 

Every year, the saffron harvest season begins in early November. While most other vegetation are gone, the bright purple flowers cover the fields and create an outstanding landscape in dry regions in Iran. Major saffron producers of Iran are located in the east side of the country. If you would like to see the biggest market, head to Mashhad, which is also known for its religious importance.

But if you are more curious about where saffron comes from, remember the cities of Gonabad, Torbat Heydariyeh, Taybad, Khaf, and Qaen. All of these cities are located in Khorasan region and their harvest season begin around November 1st, lasts about two, at most three weeks.

Saffron has long been used as a special seasoning in Iranian kitchens. A thin layer of saffron mixed rice on top of the white pile of rice and barberries, next to aroma and color of chicken kebab (joojeh kabab), all promise a welcoming hospitality.

Iranians appreciate saffron and use it moderately, they believe that overuse of saffron can harm their mental health. They enjoy it in the flavorful saffron ice cream (Bastani Sonnati) in hot days of summer, or serve it in bowls of sweet rice pudding (Sholeh Zard) in religious ceremonies.

Some people also make a refreshing herbal tea out of it, along with rose petal.

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