#Saffrodisiac / by Vahid Mortezaei

Depression is not only a serious social problem of our time -it is also a business opportunity. It’s almost seven years that I live in Helsinki and at one point I also suffered from depression, for a year and half. 

depression.jpg

When I saw my Finnish friends for the first time sitting in front of kirkasvalolamppu (light therapy lamp), I made jokes about them. But oh man -they were so right! Long dark days, minimalistic daily communication, loneliness and ultra-individualism can really crash you.

Saffron is the signature of Persian cuisine. We use it almost in every possible dish from sweet to savoury, cold to warm. We make saffron drinks, use it in our jam and add it to our pickled veggies. You can find saffron ice-cream on every street corner in Iran during the summer. It’s the most expensive spice in the world but an irreplaceable one in the Iranian kitchen. It so happens that Iran is the biggest producer and exporter of saffron in the world.

 [Photo: Rex Features, www.telegraph.co.uk]

[Photo: Rex Features, www.telegraph.co.uk]

Iranians believe that saffron makes you laugh (and too much of it makes you laugh to death!). Well, we exaggerate everything, including saffron in our food. But for sure there is some truth in that belief. 

Scientific research shows that actually saffron is as effective as some anti-depressant medicines in reducing the symptoms of depression.

 Saffron custard in beetroot cup

Saffron custard in beetroot cup

In Vahid Mortezaei Studio™ we work on new saffrony products. Our mission is to modernise and globalise Persian cuisine. Saffron is one of the main ingredients that we work on. We try to discover unseen aspects of this magical spice. We constantly look for food production companies, creative people and product developers to collaborate with them on this path. Meanwhile we are looking for small scale saffron producers and suppliers in Iran who apply innovative methods to produce sustainable, transparent and environmentally conscious saffron to sell in the Finnish market.     

 Saffron caviar

Saffron caviar

In Finland they even produce earbuds, which point bright light directly to your brain through the ear channel to boost your mood. So why not to try a pinch of Persian saffron instead!