The trade and usage of saffron reaches back more than 3,000 years and
includes marketing for medicinal, culinary, and colourative
applications. Saffron, a spice derived from the dried stigmas of the
saffron crocus, has remained among history's most costly comestibles.
With its bitter taste, hay-like fragrance, and slight metallic notes,
saffron has been used as a seasoning, fragrance, dye, and medicine.
Saffron is native to Southwest Asia, but was first cultivated in
Greece. In both antiquity and modern times, most saffron was and is
used in the preparation of food and drink: cultures spread across
Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas value the red threads for use
in such items as baked goods, curries, and liquor. Medicinally,
saffron was used in ancient times to cure a wide range of ailments,
including stomach upsets, bubonic plague, and smallpox; clinical
trials have shown saffron's potential as an anticancer and anti-aging
agent. Since the 1980s, saffron has been used as a precursor in MDMA
synthesis. Saffron has been used to colour textiles and other items,
many of which carry a religious or hierarchical significance.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
English forces defeated the French at the Battle of Auray in the
French town of Auray, the decisive confrontation of the Breton War of
Succession, a part of the Hundred Years' War
British Home Secretary Robert Peel founded the Metropolitan Police
of Greater London, also known as the Met.
Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, British Prime Minister Neville
Chamberlain, and French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier signed the
Munich Agreement, stipulating that Czechoslovakia must cede the
Sudetenland to Germany.
German Nazis aided by their collaborators began the Babi Yar
massacre in Kiev, Ukraine, killing over 30,000 Jewish civilians in two
days and thousands more in the months that followed.
Twelve countries signed a convention establishing the European
Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), currently the world's
largest particle physics laboratory.
Wiktionary's Word of the day:
xenogenetic: Being of foreign origin; having originated elsewhere.
Wikiquote of the day:
Honesty is the best policy, I will stick to that. The good shall have
my hand and heart, but the bad neither foot nor fellowship. And in my
mind, the main point of governing, is to make a good beginning. --
Miguel de Cervantes