By Phil Briggs
WASHINGTON — When Connecting Vets spoke with Army veteran Keith Alaniz, co-founder of Rumi Spice, we learned how he and two other military veterans built a global spice empire by empowering Afghan farmers to grow the world’s most expensive spice — saffron.
Below are a few things Alaniz shared with us that you probably didn’t know about the coveted spice.
1. It’s known as a natural mood enhancer and thus, if you are hosting you should serve saffron tea or a saffron dessert.
Siro Torres gently toasts the harvested saffron spice at his house on November 7, 2014 in the village of Alcala de Jucar, in the Castilla la Mancha region of Spain. (Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
2. Saffron is described as having an “earthy sweetness” since it has aromas similar to honey as well as herbal components.
Afghan workers pluck saffron flowers on a farm on November 09, 2010 in Herat, Afghanistan. (Getty Images)
3. Saffron is delicately handpicked from the center of the crocus flower.
A Kashmiri farmer plucks saffron flowers at a farm in Pampore, south of Srinagar on November 1, 2016. (Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images)
4. It takes 150,000 Crocus flowers to produce 1 kilogram of saffron.
In this photograph taken on November 18, 2014, an Afghan worker uses a basket to carry saffron flowers in the Ghoriyan District of Herat. (Karimi/AFP/Getty Images)
Listen to the entire discussion with Alaniz below: