Bang a Gong: Get Saffron!
Saffron: a popular medieval spice used as flavoring, as coloring for food and ink, and to help with intestinal distress. If too much was taken, however, it could cause uncontrollable laughing, facial spasms known as the “sardonic grin,” and complete organ failure. Luke DeMaitre likens the sardonic grin to “the mien as well as the killing method of The Joker in Batman epics”. Saffron was, and still is, crazy expensive because of its labor-intensive harvesting method. It consists of the dried stigmas of the flower of the Crocus sativus. The flower blooms for only two weeks and each bloom yields only 3 or 4 stigmas. According to Paul Freedman, a pound of saffron cost about a month’s salary in Medieval England (15 shillings). The saffron pictured here costs $7856.21/pound. For that amount of money, you can buy the B.zero.1 Bulgari pendant with pavé diamonds and 18 karat yellow gold chain; a Louis Vuitton “Louise Wallet”; and a round-trip-ticket from NYC to Paris. If you’re thinking about what to get me for my next birthday, please don’t opt for the pound of saffron. Or at least include the gift receipt.