Types of Saffron
Saffron is a very expensive spice. For this reason, it is called red gold. When you buy saffron in bulk or buy saffron online, you might have come across different names of saffron. Each type is distinct in terms of price.
Classification of Saffron Types
Generally speaking, they divided saffron into different categories. The higher the purity of saffron, the better its coloring power and aroma. The level of crocin, the chemical that causes the red color of saffron, is a determining factor for the quality. The higher it is, the better the saffron smell and taste will be.
The quality of saffron also depends on the place of cultivation and the method of drying the threads. Currently, farmers cultivate and harvest the best type of saffron in Gonabad, Ghaenat, Torbat Heydariyeh, and other regions of Iran. In general, you might find saffron in categories as follows:
- Super Negin
- Sargol (Coupé)
- Pushal (La Mancha)
Negin category has different types such as Negin, Super Negin, etc. In fact, Negin saffron is the best and most expensive type of saffron. Negin is the best type of saffron if you want to use it for decorative purposes. The coloring power and aroma is at the highest in Negin family.
Negin saffron cleaning is extremely time-consuming as the harvesters should take out the styles carefully and cut them in the same sizes. The three branches of the stigma should be completely separated. Moreover, the ends of the stigmas should not be white. They also must be colorful and well-shaped without any frustration.
Super Negin Saffron
Super Negin is the most expensive type of saffron with the highest quality in aroma and color. It has long and nearly the same sized threads with no yellow part. The size of threads is essential for grading Super Negin. Thicker and longer threads are preferable.
Super Negin saffron is the best type of saffron in Iran and the favorite product of exporters/importers. Crocin level of Super Negin is about 250 units, therefore, it has the highest coloring power among saffrons.
Negin is nearly the same as Super Negin but it might have some yellow parts included. Negin cost is lower than Super Negin while it has the same coloring ability. It is very popular in Europe, especially in Spain.
Sargol Saffron is only the tip of saffron stigmas. The better qualities are thicker with a pleasing redness. The crocin level, however, is lower than the Negin family because it is only a small part of the stigma.
In Spain, traders also know Sargol as Coupé which is very popular in cooking and pastry.
What is Pushal Saffron?
At the time of harvesting saffron, the stigma of this plant looks red and is away from the lower part, called style. In this case, in addition to the red part, the stigma has another yellowish-orange part.
It is also worth mentioning that when harvesting this plant, there is 1-3 mm of style on each thread of saffron. The yellowish-orange part of the style has less crocin compared to the red stigmas. Therefore, Pushal saffron crocin level is usually 170-250 units. Pushal quality is higher when the yellow part decreases in the cargo.
Some customers prefer Pushal saffron because they believe it is a sign of the quality and originality of the threads. It is harder to fake threads of saffron when there are in Pushal state.
Types of Pushal saffron
If you decide to buy saffron, the first thing you need to notice is the purpose of your purchase. Each saffron is different in price, aroma, and color.
Pushal Saffron Grade A
The largest and thickest type of Pushal with very small yellow parts. The coloring feature of grade A is more than other types of Pushal.
Spanish traders and customers are very interested in Grade A Pushal. It is similar to the Spanish “La Mancha” saffron.
Pushal Saffron Grade B
Type B of Pushal saffron is only different in the yellow part of the style. The yellowish-orange segment length is more than Grade A. They are also different in Size and thickness but it is not very significant.
Pushal Saffron Grade C
The grade C is the poorest grade of Pushal. The stigma and styles of grade C are fragile and thin. The Yellow part of threads are vividly longer and consist mostly of the thread length. Usually, grade C is originated from weak saffron flower and corm. The crocin level is fiercely lower than other grades of Pushal or Negin categories.
Advantages of Pushal Saffron
Pushal threads consist of the yellow part of style and people can directly observe the yellow part of the style. It is very difficult to fake the thorough style of saffron consisting of the yellow part compared to the all red types of saffron.
High color intensity due to the high proportion of red stigma is another advantage of Pushal grades A and B.
Due to the proportion of style, it has all the properties of a saffron thread. As you may know, the coloring agent, crocin, is not available in the yellow parts but the aroma is really strong in these parts.
Compared to Negin category, Pushal is cheaper but it still has a resealable amount of coloring agent.
Bunch saffron is the whole stigma and the style of saffron flower. Farmers normally gather multitude of threads and fasten them in the middle. They also call is as “Daste”.
Konj is actually the end of saffron styles which have no coloring agent. It is very cheap and people normally use it for its aroma in herbal tea. It is not very popular in Europe or Asia.
Infinity Nuts provides all types of Saffron originated from the best regions of Iran which have the highest quality of soil and saffron corm. Contact us if you need more information.