• Is saffron a spice or a herb?

    Herbs are the leaves of a specific plant, like cilantro, mint or tarragon, where spices refer to refined ingredients, like salt, pepper seeds, cinnamon or chiles. Saffron is the stigma (the fibrous threads in the center) from a saffron crocus blossom. So, it’s a spice. Saffron is very difficult to harvest because one flower only produces three stigmas, or threads. Native to southeast Asia it has been, for many decades, the most expensive spice in the world. The flavor is very bitter and can be used to flavor and/or color dishes (it contains crocis, a VERY yellow dye).