Press & Media

How to Tell Real From Fake Saffron - Heray Spice
Jan 06, 2023
With its gorgeous color and distinct flavor, this ancient spice is worth the price tag. By Heather Riske  Updated on January 4, 2023 Saffron is often referred to as “red gold,” and for good reason—it’s the world’s most expensive spice, retailing for anywhere from $10 to $20 for a gram of the real stuff. With a subtly sweet, hard-to-pin-down flavor, it also serves as a natural food dye and is the key to unlocking the brilliant golden color of classic dishes such as bouillabaisse, paella, and risotto alla Milanese. But what exactly is saffron, and why is it so expensive? Here, learn all about the precious spice, including where it comes from, how to cook with it, and how to tell the real deal from impostors. What Is Saffron? Believed to have first been discovered in Bronze Age Greece, saffron has been cultivated for thousands of years for use as a spice, dye and medicine. Saffron comes from the stigmas of crocus sativus, a flowering plant in the iris family with bright purple petals that’s also known as “saffron crocus” or “autumn crocus.” Each flower only produces a few of the prized, crimson-red stigmas (commonly referred to as threads), which are hand-picked and then dried. Native to southwest Asia, the flowers are somewhat temperamental and prefer a dry, semi-arid climate. Today, Iran is the world’s leading producer of saffron, but the spice is also cultivated in Afghanistan, Greece, Morocco, India, and Spain, among other countries.
Saffron is the most expensive spice that is coming from herat Afghanistan. Saffron adds color, flavor, and smell to your foods.
Nov 19, 2022
Mohammed Salehi, founder of Heray Spice, based in Chicago, has been selling saffron in the US since 2017. He also recently introduced Afghan tea and cumin to his buyers. Salehi was an interpreter for the US military in Afghanistan, allowing him to arrive in the US on a special visa in 2014.
Nov 14, 2022
To understand saffron is to understand the immense work that goes into this product. Saffron begins with the Crocus sativus flower, a small purple flower that blooms in the autumn as opposed to other flowering herbs and spices that bloom in the spring. READ MORE ON KITCHEN AID
Saffron National Post
Nov 14, 2022
Mohammad Salehi was a farmer once, and a military linguist before he became the CEO of Heray Spice, an organic saffron company in Chicago encouraging Afghan farmers to raise saffron instead of opium poppies. Afghanistan is the third-largest producer of saffron and has some of the best quality in the world. MORE ON NATIONAL POST
Saffron on Eater
Nov 14, 2022
Heray Spice, The Saffron Specialistby Sophia F. Gottfried Jan 28, 2021, 11:47am EST Illustration by Joules GarciaSaffron is one of the world’s most famous, and famously expensive, spices. But Mohammad Salehi has found, beyond that, Americans don’t know all that much about what he calls the “queen of spices.” When he first tried selling the delicate crimson threads from his family’s farm in Afghanistan to grocery stores, they didn’t bite.MORE ON EATER
Bon Appétit: Where To Buy Saffron You Can Feel Good About - Heray Spice
Nov 14, 2022
Heray Spice imports saffron from a cooperative of 25 farming families from two villages in Herat Province. Salehi knows them all personally, and his company pays on average $400-$500 more per kilo than local traders. He also invests a portion of Heray’s profits in local education. “When I was a boy, every year my family would put half of the income from their saffron crop towards my education,” says Salehi. “I want to help the children of farmers who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to go to school.” Read More on Bon Appétit