On being divine and immortal

crocus saffron swedish love affair lussekatter lussebullar saffran krokusSaffron, a spice derived from the heart of a crocus, is the most rare and expensive spice in the world. By weight, it’s more expensive than gold. However, tons of it are consumed by the Swedes this time a year. The thing is that saffron, along with cinnamon, more than anything else, means Christmas in Sweden.

Spices in general have meant a lot for the development of Europe through ages and the discovery of new places in the world (we’re talking about 500 years back), but saffron is one of the most mythical ones. The legends go back thousands of years b.C., and according to them saffron works as aphrodisiac for women, cures deadly illnesses and makes you partly divine if you eat it. Eating a lot of it would make you immortal. For counterfeiting saffron (which, obviously, would be highly profitable) women got buried alive and men got stoned to death.

With very low hopes of becoming divine or immortal I bought myself a package of saffron today. Tonight I’ll be baking something typically Swedish!saffron saffran santa maria clementines klementiner swedish love affair

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16 Responses to On being divine and immortal

  1. Todd says:

    Nice post, Antonia! It’s really interesting, I had no idea saffron had such a rich history! What will you bake, I wonder? Looking forward to the results!

  2. Julia says:

    Excellent photos! I can’t get over that saffron is more expensive than gold!!

    • Antonia says:

      Thank you! I know, it’s hard to imagine! That’s why they don’t put saffron out in the stores, for risk of theft! You have to ask the store clerk for it. At least, that’s how they do in Sweden.

  3. Emma says:

    How interesting! Thanks for sharing that with us, I knew Saffron was considered very special, but never quite that much!

    Look forward to finding out what it went into! x

  4. Cee says:

    We always have a small bit of saffron in our cupboard, because it’s so wonderfully indulgent :) I had no idea it was traditionally used in Swedish cooking, though! I guess it makes sense, since it comes from chrysanthemums! Can’t wait to see what you’re making.

    • Antonia says:

      It actually comes from the crocus flower, so it must be another reason why it became our official Christmas spice! Maybe it’s just because it was so expensive, and it’s only in Christmas people indulged in such luxury..

  5. Laura C. says:

    The Indian/Mediterranean restaurant we went to on Sunday is called Saffron Grill and my boyfriend read that around 7,000 flowers (or some ridiculous number like that) are needed to get a pound of saffron! :-0
    Such a rare & fantastic ! Happy baking! :-)

    • Antonia says:

      I know, it means that an unbelievable amount of work goes into making whatever you make with saffron! Knowing this should make you appreciate it even more=)

  6. Clare Brown says:

    I had NO idea about saffron’s amazingness. You see?? THIS is why i LOVE your blog!!

  7. Tina says:

    Kul att du tycker det =) Kramar

  8. Pingback: Lucia’s cats or lussekatter | Swedish love affair

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