A spice often used in Mediterranean and Moroccan cooking that is the dried point of pollination of the purple crocus (a flower similar to the iris). Each flower only provides three strands of saffron that must be carefully and painstakingly hand picked and dried, making it the most expensive spice in the world. For one ounce of saffron, 14,000 tiny strands must be harvested. Saffron adds a deep yellow color to dishes and was at one time a dye used to color cloth. A little goes a long way with most recipes calling for a small pinch of saffron threads to add a pleasant spicy smell and aromatic flavor.