Saffron is both tasty and expensive. In fact, I have seen it referred to as the most expensive spice in the world. Not sure about the veracity of this claim, but it is most certainly, the most expensive spice we buy. The spice vendor that we go through typically has it for about $18 per gram; in excess of $500 per ounce. Ouch.
Now I understand that the process of harvesting the stigmas off of a specific type of crocus, drying it, and then shipping it around the world to my kitchen has some inherent costs. Unfortunately, knowing this does not stop me from crying out in financial pain when a recipe calls for saffron. We use saffron a lot in Moroccan and other Mediterranean recipes and all cooks have to work within a budget. Saffron water to the rescue..well, somewhat….