Add saffron to the list of Washington crops about which you can say, "Wow. Even that grows here?" Yup. It does. And our buddy, Jim Robinson of Phocas Farm, brings it to us. You will find him near the 22nd Avenue end of the Market, on the sidewalk side facing Guitar Emporium.
Saffron is a spice derived from the dried stigma of the flower of the saffron crocus that is dried and used in cooking as a seasoning and coloring agent. Saffron, which has for decades been the world's most expensive spice by weight, is native to Southwest Asia.
Saffron's aroma is often described by connoisseurs as reminiscent of metallic honey with grassy or hay-like notes, while its taste has also been noted as hay-like and somewhat bitter. Saffron also contributes a luminous yellow-orange colouring to foods.
Most saffron is grown in a belt of land ranging from the Mediterranean in the west to Kashmir in the east. Annually, around 300 tonnes of saffron are produced worldwide. Iran ranks first in the world production of saffron, with more than 94 percent of the world yield.
For more information, see Wikipedia.