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It’s no wonder this is the most expensive food in the world. Yep, sorry rare beluga caviar, you’re like rancid garbage compared to saffron, one of the most coveted spices (OK, the most coveted) on the entire planet.

Each flower — or saffron crocus, if you want to get technical — produces three stamens on average, which must be picked by hand. About 150 flowers are needed to produce one single gram of saffron, and saffron can sell for around $8 – 12 CDN, or a whopping $2,000 – 10,000 CDN per pound. That’s some serious flower power.

Just look at how gorgeous it is.

Getty Images

So how can they justify such an outrageous price for a few grams of saffron? When you understand how tedious and painstaking the harvesting process is, it all becomes clear. Of course, the flower is a diva and is very selective about the climates it grows in; all too often, the yields are very hit-and-miss, so that adds to its rarity. Currently, it’s grown in Kashmir, Spain, Morocco and Greece for worldwide distribution.

If you’re so inclined and looking to save cash, you can even grow it in your own home. We’re not sure if you want to go through all this, though. Our backs hurt just looking at it.

Farooq Khan/EPA Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua/Corbis Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua/Corbis Farooq Khan/EPA Farooq Khan/EPA

We think we’ll just stick to eating it. That, and basking in its beauty.