Our Spanish saffron is authentic ISO 1 with a coloring power of more than 180. This is the real thing - SOIVRE certified that it "does not contain any additive, nor any natural or artificial colorant.
Saffron is a must for traditional Risotto Milanese. A little goes a long way. Our pure Spanish saffron is one of the best saffron available. Every step of the cultivation is done by hand. Dried stigma threads are hand-picked from the crocus flower. It takes over five thousand stigmas to produce one ounce! Unlike some saffron, ours comes only from the stigma threads of the crocus flower. It is not dyed, nor is it adulterated with non-saffron material. The price of saffron is dependent on its coloring power (graded categories I to IV with I being the strongest).
Gathering of Saffron - Select (category I)
Gathering of Saffron - Sierra (category II)
Testing the Authenticity of Saffron:
Soak a saffron thread in warm water. If the water turns a nice yellow, most likely it is saffron. It does not give you an indication of the coloring power but at least it can tell you that the thread is real saffron and not dyed corn silk. If the water turns red, then the thread has been dyed. It should also have that earthy saffron smell which comes out even more in warm water.
SOIVRE is the acronym for Servicio Oficial de Inspeccion, Vigilancia y Regulaciones de las Exportaciones. All saffron exported out of Spain must go through SOIVRE and must prove (with a lab analysis) that the saffron being exported is authentic. Since the USA does not have regulations with regard to the authenticity of saffron, any country can export saffron to the US, label it as Spanish saffron but it may not even be saffron.