The value or attractiveness of a product/service depends on both its benefits and its costs. However, in the current situation and in light of the global economic crisis, the world has entered a golden age for Saffron, the most popular and highly-appealing of all spices.
The Saffron Industry
Saffron in India started out in the eighth century and flourished until around 400 AD. The spice trade was booming at that time in India and also in the other Arab countries.
In the latter part of the sixth century, the spice trade stopped and India became the major consumer of the spice. The first Saffron products are the two types of rinds called garam masala and ragi masala.
The first two types of rinds are made from a tree called the karst tree. The most popular of the two is the karst rind. In ancient times, the farmers used this rind to make the oil, ghee, and vinegar. This was the first use of saffron, which was used by Europeans since the time of Columbus.
Ragi masala is made from the same tree. It is also the most common. The ragi masala is used to make masala, curries, jams, cookies, cakes, and desserts. These recipes were given a special name, samosa sambar. Later, sambar became synonymous with garam masala and ragi masala.
Ragi masala is now also made from other tree species from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Nepal, and Kenya.
As the trade of curry chutneys (in India) became more efficient thanks to new means of transport like road, railway, truck, and train, this spice started to be exported overseas.
The export of Saffron to the West was not limited to the South East Asia and the Middle East.
In the early 1960s, the Saffron Industry was in rapid growth. The first spices in India were the ragi masala, curries of all types (kadi masala, makhani masala, farsal, tarka, kheera masala and ragi masala), and ghee. The industry was booming and there were large number of companies in India who were engaged in the spice manufacture business. Around 50% of the economy of India depended on spice.
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