Dave's Garden Cookbook: Using Saffron
Category: Miscellaneous Recipes
|Flavor is saffron’s appeal. Saffron tastes like–well, it doesn’t resemble any other spice. This is why people are willing to pay high prices for small amounts–about $5 for a teaspoon’s worth; saffron sells for over $200 a pound. Saffron has a flavor and aroma that’s rich and warm, and it has a beautiful, intense, gold-red color.|
Saffron comes from the stamens of a fall-flowering crocus. There are three stamens, attached by a yellow filament, in each flower. It takes about 210,000 stamens to make a pound of saffron, and the stamens must be picked by hand. Saffron comes from Spain, Iran, and Northern India, and while there are flavor variations due to soil and climate, the actual difference is minimal. We don’t get much saffron from Iran because of trade problems with that country. Right now (1994) we find saffron from the Kashmir region of India to be of the highest quality.
When shopping for saffron, look for bottles that contain red stamens with no yellow filaments; the filament adds nothing but weight to your purchase. Avoid powdered saffron, which is generally inferior and may contain other ingredients, such as turmeric.
To get the most out of saffron, infuse it in liquid. Add whole saffron threads (crushing is unnecessary) to the liquid that will be used in the dish and let it sit for about 10 minutes before adding to the other ingredients. If you put saffron directly in hot oil, its volatile flavors will evaporate, leaving you with a savory-smelling kitchen but with less flavor in your food.
|Not my original information, but still good information!|
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