It’s the poshest spice of all, often worth its weight in gold. But saffron also has a hidden history as a dye, a luxury self-tanner, and even a serotonin stimulant.
That’s right, this episode we’re all about those fragile red threads plucked from the centre of a purple crocus flower.
Listen in as we visit a secret saffron field to discover why it’s so expensive, talk to a clinical psychologist to explore the science behind saffron’s reputation as the medieval Prozac, and explore the spice’s off-menu role as an all-purpose beautifier for elites from Alexander the Great to Henry VIII.
*Gastropod first published this episode in January 2018.