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Red gold: The rich tradition of Kashmiri saffron

1 kg of the prized spice can fetch as much as $4,000

Separated saffron stigmas are collected on a plate next to the flowers during the drying process in the Kashmiri village of Pampore, the "saffron capital of India."    © Reuters

PAMPORE, India -- It is a misty morning in early October, and the air is redolent with the fragrance of Crocus sativus, the flower that produces the precious spice known as saffron, or zafran by its Persian name.

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