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About Saffron
Saffron is a plant. The dried stigmas (thread-like parts of the flower) are used to make saffron spice. It can take 75,000 saffron blossoms to produce a single pound of saffron spice. Saffron is largely cultivated and harvested by hand. Due to the amount of labor involved in harvesting, saffron is considered one of the world's most expensive spices. The stigmas are also used to make medicine.

Medical uses
Saffron is used for asthma, cough, whooping cough (pertussis), and to loosen phlegm (as an expectorant). It is also used for sleep problems (insomnia), cancer, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), intestinal gas (flatulence), depression, Alzheimer’s disease, fright, shock, spitting up blood (hemoptysis), pain, heartburn, and dry skin.

Some people apply saffron directly to the scalp for baldness (alopecia).

In foods, saffron is used as a spice, yellow food coloring, and as a flavoring agent.

In manufacturing, saffron extracts are used as fragrance in perfumes and as a dye for cloth.
Important note for you as saffron buyers

  • Saffron threads (Stigmas) are all red (no other color).
  • Saffron threads must be dry and brittle to the touch.
  • Saffron aroma is strong and fresh, never musty

Keep these three criteria in mind every time you buy saffron.

You must also be aware of the following:

  1. Long red threads: It means that the whole saffron thread has been tinted.
  2. A very uniform red color: Again, the threads could have been dyed.
  3. Streaks of yellow accross the thread: We've seen red threads with a streak of yellow or orange, then red again. This happens when saffron is tinted, but a thread is covered by another, so the dye doesn't reach the thread below, leaving a red-yellow-red pattern. 
And finally, do not be fooled into thinking that saffron's quality is tied to saffron's price. In other words, saffron's price is tied to how much saffron is harvested in a particular country and how many middlemen handle it before it reaches you. We buy directly from the growers!
    Approximate Saffron Production in the world
    • Iran 225/275 mt
    • Greece 4/7 mt
    • Afghanistan 2 mt
    • Morocco, maybe 2 mt
    • Kashmir 2 mt
    • Spain 700 kilos
    • Italy 5 kilos

    Nutrition Facts

    Saffron (Crocus sativus
    Nutritional value per 100 gms

    Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
    Energy 310 Kcal 15.5%
    Carbohydrates 65.37 g 50%
    Protein 11.43 g 21%
    Total Fat 5.85 g 29%
    Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
    Dietary Fiber 3.9 g 10%
    Folates 93 µg 23%
    Niacin 1.46 mg 9%
    Pyridoxine 1.010 mg 77%
    Riboflavin 0.267 mg 20%
    Vitamin A 530 IU 18%
    Vitamin C 80.8 mg 135%
    Sodium 148 mg 10%
    Potassium 1724 mg 37%
    Calcium 111 mg 11%
    Copper 0.328 mg 37%
    Iron 11.10 mg 139%
    Magnesium 264 mg 66%
    Manganese 28.41 mg 1235%
    Phosphorus 252 mg 36%
    Selenium 5.6 µg 10%
    Zinc 1.09 mg 10%

    (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)


    About Apricot
    A relative of the peach, nectarine, plum and cherry, apricots are fragrant, with a soft, velvety skin that ranges from pale yellow to deep orange. Inside there's a large kernel that will fall out easily if the flesh is ripe. 

    Apricots need a warm climate to thrive - in the summer most come from hot European countries, and there's also a short winter season for apricots grown in Chile and South Africa.

    Apricots are originally from China but arrived in Europe via Armenia, which is why the scientific name is Prunus armenaica. The apricot tree came to Virginia in 1720 but its appearance in the Spanish missions of California around 1792 marked the fruit's real arrival. The climate there is perfectly suited to apricot culture, and apricots in the United States are grown primarily in the sunny orchards of California.

    The Kashmir apricot season is from May to September.

    Choose the best
    An apricot's colour is not always a reliable guide to flavor, but steer clear of very plae varities, and always avoid wrinkled or blemished skins. The flesh should feel moderately firm.

    Prepare it
    Halve by running a blade around the kernel following the line of the fruit's natural dimple, then gently twist apart and flip out the stone. Brush the cut sides with lemon juice to prevent the flesh from discolouring.

    Store it
    At room temperature if not completely ripe (they'll ripen in a day or two in the fruit bowl), otherwise in the fridge.

    Cook it
    In tarts and crumbles; poached and served with double cream; or use to make jam, compote or chutneys.

    Nutrition Facts

    Apricot (Prunus Armeniaca)
    Nutrition Value per 100 gms

    Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
    Energy 50 Kcal 2.5%
    Carbohydrates 11 g 8.5%
    Protein 1.4 g 2.5%
    Total Fat 0.4 g 1%
    Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
    Dietary Fiber 2 g 5%
    Folates 9 µg 2%
    Niacin 0.600 mg 4%
    Pantothenic acid 0.240 mg 5%
    Pyridoxine 0.054 mg 5%
    Riboflavin 0.040 mg 3%
    Thiamin 0.030 mg 2.5%
    Vitamin A 1926 IU 64%
    Vitamin C 10 mg 16%
    Vitamin E 0 mg 0%
    Vitamin K 3.3 µg 3%
    Sodium 1 mg 0%
    Potassium 259 mg 5.5%
    Calcium 13 mg 1.3%
    Iron 0.39 mg 5%
    Magnesium 10 mg 2.5%
    Manganese 0.077 mg 3%
    Phosphorus 23 mg 3%
    Zinc 0.2 mg 2%
    Carotene-a 19 µg --
    Carotene--ß 1094 µg --
    Crypto-xanthin-ß 104 µg --
    Lutein-zeaxanthin 89 µg --

    (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
    Health Benefits
    Nutrients in apricots can help protect the heart and eyes, as well as provide the disease-fighting effects of fiber. The high beta-carotene content of apricots makes them important heart health foods. Beta-carotene helps protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which may help prevent heart disease.
    Apricots contain nutrients such as vitamin A that promote good vision. Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, quenches free radical damage to cells and tissues. Free radical damage can injure the eyes' lenses.
    Apricots are a good source of fiber, which has a wealth of benefits including preventing constipation and digestive conditions such as diverticulosis. But most Americans get less than 10 grams of fiber per day. A healthy, whole foods diet should include apricots as a delicious way to add to your fiber intake.

    How to Enjoy
    A few quick serving ideas:

    • Add sliced apricots to hot or cold cereal.
    • The next time you make whole grain pancakes add some chopped apricots to the batter.
    • Give a Middle Eastern flavor to chicken or vegetable stews with the addition of dried, diced apricots.
    • Serve fresh apricots in your green salad when they are in season.


    About Honey
    Honey is made by bees from the nectar they collect from flowers. Viscous and fragrant, it's a natural sweetener and can be used just as it is to spread on bread or toast, or added to sweet and savoury dishes.
    The flavour, colour and consistency vary, depending on the flower(s) the nectar was collected from and the production method used - as a general rule, the darker the colour, the stronger the flavour.
    Honey is available clear and runny, thick and opaque, in a honeycomb or as a chunk of cut honeycomb suspended in runny honey.

    All year round.

    Choose the best
    There are many different flavours of honey. Some of the most commonly available honeys with delicate tastes and aromas include clover (mainly from Britain), orange blossom (from the US, Mexico and Europe), lemon blossom (Mexico), acacia (China, Canada, Europe) and leatherwood (New Zealand).
    More intensely flavoured honeys include Scottish heather, eucalyptus (Australia and the Mediterranean), Manuka (New Zealand), lavender (France), Hymettus (Greek, named after the mountain of the same name). Runny honey is easier to cook with.

    Prepare it
    Honey doesn't need any preparation. If clear honey becomes cloudy (as a result of the natural process of crystallisation) just stand the jar in a bowl of very hot water for 15 minutes or so, or give it a blast in the microwave (with the lid removed, if it's made of metal) for around 30 seconds.

    Store it
    In a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Comb and cut comb honey will last for around six months.

    Cook it
    Add to marinades, salad dressings or smoothies. Drizzle over Greek yoghurt or fruit salads. Pour over soft cheeses and grill. Use to add sweetness and a moist consistency to baking.

    Health Benefit
    The 3 key health benefits of honey are related to the fact that:
    1. Honey is nature's energy booster
    2. Honey is a great immunity system builder
    3. Honey is a natural remedy for many ailments

    Nutrition Facts

    Honey (Honey)
    Nutrition Value per 100 gms

    Calories 304
    % Daily Value *
    Total Fat 0.0g 0.0%
    Saturated Fat 0.0g 0.0%
    Trans Fat 0g
    Cholesterol 0mg 0.0%
    Sodium 4.0mg 0.2%
    Total Carbohydrate 82.4g 27.5%
    Dietary Fiber 0.2g 0.8%
    Sugars 82.1g
    Protein 0.3g 0.6%
    Vitamin A 0.0%
    Vitamin C 0.8%
    Calcium 0.6%
    Iron 2.3%
    Vitamin D 0.0%
    Potassium 1.5%


    About Walnuts

    Walnuts are one of the most popular and versatile of all nuts. When picked young, they're known as wet and their milky white kernels are mainly used for pickling. Far more common is the dried nut, either shelled or unshelled. The brown-skinned kernel has a ridged surface, which looks like two halves of the brain.

    Slightly bitter in flavour, walnuts are good eaten raw or cooked, in either sweet or savoury dishes, and are particularly useful for baking.

    Walnuts have a rich history dating back thousands of years. Walnuts are the oldest tree food known to man, dating back to 7000 B.C. The Romans called walnuts Juglans regia, "Jupiter's royal acorn." Early history indicates that English walnuts came from ancient Persia, where they were reserved for royalty. Thus, the walnut is often known as the "Persian Walnut." Walnuts were traded along the Silk Road route between Asia and the Middle East. Caravans carried walnuts to far off lands and eventually through sea trade, spreading the popularity of the walnut around the world. The outer shell provided a natural protective layer helping to maintain the quality of the nut. Today the nut trade continues to be a well-established, ordered, and structured business.


    Shelled walnuts are available all year round. Unshelled walnuts tend to be available in our winter months, from December to February.


    Choose the best
    If buying unshelled walnuts, look for those that are uncracked, with no holes. Shelled walnuts should be plump and crisp. Avoid any that look shivelled.


    Prepare it
    Walnuts in their shells can be opened using a nut cracker. To avoid damaging the nut inside, squeeze the shell gently until it cracks, and then extract the nut - there are lots of different nut crackers available, so find one that's easy for you to use. 

    In whatever style you decide to prepare walnuts, it's worth including the skin. Some people may not even notice that there is a walnut skin. But that whitish, sometimes waxy, sometimes flaky, outermost part of the walnut (once it has been shelled) is the skin. Researchers now know that approximately 90% of the phenols in walnuts are found in the skin, including key phenolic acids, tannins, and flavonoids. The list of health supportive compounds in these three phenol families is a large one, and it continues to grow as researchers learn more and more about this amazing tree nut.

    Store it
    Unshelled walnuts should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place - they'll last for around three months. Shelled walnuts should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge - they'll last for up to six months.


    Cook it
    Add to salads (particularly Waldorf salad, with apple, celery and raisins) or muesli; use for baking cakes, biscuits or pies. Eat as a snack.


    Nutrition Facts

    Walnuts (Juglans regia)
    Nutritional value per 100 gms

    Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
    Energy 654 Kcal 33%
    Carbohydrates 13.71 g 11%
    Protein 15.23 g 27%
    Total Fat 65.21 g 217%
    Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
    Dietary Fiber 6.7 g 18%
    Folates 98 µg 24%
    Niacin 1.125 mg 7%
    Pantothenic acid 0.570 mg 11%
    Pyridoxine 0.537 mg 41%
    Riboflavin 0.150 mg 11.5%
    Thiamin 0.341 mg 28%
    Vitamin A 20 IU 0.5%
    Vitamin C 1.3 mg 2%
    Vitamin E-γ 20.83 mg 139%
    Vitamin K 2.7 µg 2%
    Sodium 2 mg 0%
    Potassium 441 mg 9%
    Calcium 98 mg 10%
    Copper 1.5 mg 167%
    Iron 2.9 mg 36%
    Magnesium 158 mg 39.5%
    Manganese 3.4 mg 148%
    Phosphorus 346 mg 49%
    Selenium 4.9 µg 9%
    Zinc 3.09 mg 28%
    Carotene-ß 12 µg --
    Crypto-xanthin-ß 0 µg --
    Lutein-zeaxanthin 9 µg --

     (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)