Essential Spice Standard Spanish Saffron is sourced from a small village in the heart of Spain. Spanish Saffron or (Crocus sativus L.) is one of the most expensive spices in the world. As a rule of thumb, the deeper the color of saffron threads, the better the quality. Saffron imparts a somewhat earthy taste that's been described as pungent or even fruity. It is subtle enough that it will be masked in dishes that bolder spices. Saffron is most commonly used in soups, stews, as well as seafood dishes such as bouillabaisse and paella. It is also a welcome addition to risotto and other rice-based dishes.