A spice consisting of the dried stigma of the Crocus sativus plant, originating in the eastern Mediterranean, now grown as well in Spain, France, and South America. It has a characteristic pungent aroma and flavor and bright yellow color. It is also very expensive and used sparingly. Saffron is indispensable in paella and bouillabaisse. A good substitute for the yellow color is tumeric, though nothing can replace its unique flavor.