FIRST AIRED: November 8, 2018

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>> This crocus flower has proved as savior for many during Greece's economic crisis. And that's because it produces the most costly spice in the world, saffron. It is often referred to as red gold, because the spices form from it's red threads. Zisis, a civil engineer, has returned to his home town of Krokos in northwestern Greece, where saffron production guarantees him a steady income.
It was his only option, he couldn't find work elsewhere.>> It was an option, my return that I don't regret, and I would tell other young people too, who are struggling to find jobs, to become involved with cultivating saffron.>> The local saffron producers coop, has doubled in members.
Production has gone from just 30 kilograms a year in 2000, to 4 tons now. Exports are booming. 70% go to places like the U.S. and Japan. China may also be coming soon. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, and the reason for that is because, the making of it is very labor intensive.
Everything needs to be done by hand, from the picking to the sorting, to the cleaning to the drying. This here, this is the crocus plant. This little object here, it's called the stigma. This is what saffron is made from. It's very sensitive. And so the whole process is quite delicate.
You actually need 50,000 of these, to make only 100 grams of saffron. This is the coop's president.>> It's aroma, it taste they are all stronger. If a chef needs to put in five threads of saffron in a serving, he only need to put two of ours.>> Three centuries of families have be producing saffron here.
For the Patsiouras family, it is a worth well labor of love. And a tradition they will pass on to their children.