Saffron is an intensely aromatic spice, golden orange in color, made from the dried stigmas of a species of crocus. One pound of the world's costliest spice requires at least 225,000 stigmas; only a small amount of saffron is used to perfume and impart a golden hue to dishes in which it is used. Saffron is sold as threads (the dried stigmas) or in powdered form; the threads stay pungent longer than the powder. The best is Spanish saffron and is labeled "pure." For the most flavor, the threads or powder should be steeped in hot liquid.
For other spices, see allspice, aniseeds, caraway, cardamom, cayenne pepper, chili powder, Chinese five-spice powder, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, cumin, curry powder, fennel seeds, garam masala, ginger, juniper berries, mace, nutmeg, paprika, pepper, peppercorns, Sichuan pepper, star anise, sumac, and turmeric.