The great sea voyages of the Portuguese explorers Ferdinand Magellan, who served for a while in Morocco, Vasco de Gama and the Spanish captain Christopher Columbus expanded trade routes around the world and especially the spice trade and the security of these routes was crucial. Morocco was on the route between Europe, the Middle East and Asia and therefore acquired a number of spices as Portuguese and Spanish enclaves and ports were established along the Moroccan coast.
Saffron is a deep red spice that comes from the purple Saffron Crocus, or Crocus Sativus, and is found in many Moroccan food recipes, is used as a dye, and is believed to have medicinal benefits. The spice itself comes from the tiny thread stigmas of the flower which are traditionally hand-picked and then sun-dried to bring out the aromatic flavor. It takes 140 flowers to produce just one gram of saffron that accounts for its high market price, in fact, saffron has been said to be worth its weight in gold, literally!