Saffron is one of the most precious spices in the world. The threadlike red stigmas—and the yellow hue they impart—are quite literally the stuff of legend. The saffron is harvested—by hand and grows in Herat, Afghanistan. It is harvested in the mid-morning when the flowers are still closed in order to protect the delicate stigmas inside. It takes about 1,000 flowers to produce just one ounce of saffron.