Saffron threads are the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus, of which there are 3 saffron stigmas in a saffron crocus. Originating in Greece, it is one of the most expensive spices in the world. 75,000 saffron crocuses are needed to produce a single pound of saffron threads, explaining the precious nature of the spice. The bright red-orange threads smell of metallic honey and hay and have a bitter, honey-like flavor.
The most common culinary use of saffron is to give a yellow-orange color to food, particularly rice. The threads pair well with fish and seafood.