While saffron is most certainly used stateside, it is not a huge part of our culinary culture. Its price point may have a lot to do with that. Producing saffron is labor intensive and timely. The pollen catchers, or stigmas, must be delicately handpicked, cut from its white style, or stalk, laid out on a sieve, and cured over heat to deepen its flavor. It takes 4,500 crocus flowers to make up one ounce of saffron spice. One pound of saffron can reach a retail price of some $1,500. But rest assured, you’ll never need that much saffron in your life, and you can buy a gram at a time for around $7. For a special occasion or for the every-so-often dish, it’s worth every cent!