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Old 08-12-2013, 12:18 PM   #21
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I love saffron. Paella wouldn't be the same without it.

I would also question the quality of the saffron. Good quality saffron adds kind of a warm, earthy flavor to foods. It's one of those things that's hard to describe, because there really isn't anything that tastes quite like it (and other than adding a yellow color to foods, turmeric is not similar at all).

But I've never had saffron that tastes like plastic.
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:13 PM   #22
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A lot depends on how the saffron was tasted. If the OP just grabbed some threads and popped them into his mouth, I can understand their tasting bad. If they were used as directed the flavor will be a lot different and should be pleasant.

Cilantro is a different issue. Some people find that raw cilantro tastes soapy. There is some evidence this is a genetic predisposition. I was reminded of this yesterday in a Mexican restaurant we stopped at for lunch. SO's mango salad was dressed with cilantro and neither one of us could enjoy it for the soapy taste. Cooked cilantro tastes different from raw and is OK to my taste buds.
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:37 AM   #23
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napthalene, did you add it to food, or did you just chew on a few threads? Quite often a spice that adds a little something to a particular dish is pretty bad when eaten alone. For saffron, I've found a pinch in chicken soup does more for the color than the flavor.

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Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
I don't understand why you would seek to acclimatize your taste buds to something you dislike...
I love black olives. As a child I loved black olives. Mom would put them on my fingertips so I could eat them off one by one (I now need to by extra large size...). She was surprised that I did like them so much because, as she told me when I was older, that olives are an "acquired taste". I said to her "why would I want to acquire a taste for it? If I don't like it the first or second time I probably shouldn't bother with it".
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:36 AM   #24
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I was at my local farmers market the other day. One of the vendors was selling dried spices in 12 oz. baggies. He had one marked ''saffron'' for $5.95. I asked him if this was the right price and if it came from Spain. [it had no markings on it other than ''saffron'']. He said he was Turkish and believed it came from one of the Arabic countries. Knowing that his price was unreal I looked ''It'' up on the ''net''. I read that saffron chaff and plants are shredded and mixed with other fillers and sold as '' The real thing''. Saffron from Europe in it's pure form is something entirely different My biggest complaint is about how fresh basil is overly used. If to much is used it ruins the dish. It's just my thing.I also am not a big fan of pesto for the same reason.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:11 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by mysterychef View Post
I was at my local farmers market the other day. One of the vendors was selling dried spices in 12 oz. baggies. He had one marked ''saffron'' for $5.95. I asked him if this was the right price and if it came from Spain. [it had no markings on it other than ''saffron'']. He said he was Turkish and believed it came from one of the Arabic countries. Knowing that his price was unreal I looked ''It'' up on the ''net''. I read that saffron chaff and plants are shredded and mixed with other fillers and sold as '' The real thing''. Saffron from Europe in it's pure form is something entirely different My biggest complaint is about how fresh basil is overly used. If to much is used it ruins the dish. It's just my thing.I also am not a big fan of pesto for the same reason.
About that basil, I love basil. It is one of my 3 or 4 go-to flavors from many, many recipes, and is favored above the other three, especially in savory, tomato based sauces. As was stated by others, there are physiological reasons why one person would find basil strong, while another would find it delightful. The same is true of virtually any flavor/aroma out there.

The trick is to try things, and determine what is right for you, and to try to take other people's likes and dislikes into account when preparing food.

My dad used to over-salt everything, to my taste anyway. He was far less sensitive to salt than was I. For DW, sometimes when I think something is seasoned perfectly, it's way-strong for her, and I need to adjust how I'm preparing the recipe.

Fortunately, food has such a broad range that everyone can find something they like.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:04 AM   #26
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As with most any seasoning or spice, achieving balance is critical to the flavor.
5 spice powder, garam masala, and Old Bay come to mind as just a few that can overpower a dish in a hurry.
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:57 PM   #27
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...My dad used to over-salt everything, to my taste anyway. He was far less sensitive to salt than was I. For DW, sometimes when I think something is seasoned perfectly, it's way-strong for her, and I need to adjust how I'm preparing the recipe....
I recently read a book called "Thomas Jefferson's créme brûlee : how a founding father and his slave James Hemings introduced French cuisine to America" (absolutely fascinating from both a historical and a culinary sense) that had an interesting twist on how a person's taste changes over the years. I don't remember exactly when, but during the time Jefferson was the minister to France or shortly thereafter (late 1700s-early 1800s) women were coming into their own in fine kitchens. The idea was men's sense of taste begins to fade at the age of 40, whereas women retain their ability to taste more subtle flavors and discern finer nuances than men. Ended up being that the fine chefs in the upper class households slowly changed from a man in charge to a woman.
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:01 PM   #28
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I was at my local farmers market the other day. One of the vendors was selling dried spices in 12 oz. baggies. He had one marked ''saffron'' for $5.95. I asked him if this was the right price and if it came from Spain. [it had no markings on it other than ''saffron'']. He said he was Turkish and believed it came from one of the Arabic countries. Knowing that his price was unreal I looked ''It'' up on the ''net''. I read that saffron chaff and plants are shredded and mixed with other fillers and sold as '' The real thing''. Saffron from Europe in it's pure form is something entirely different...
If you want, you could grown the "real thing" yourself! Buy Saffron Fall Crocus at Michigan Bulb

I grew these in the garden of our first house. Surprised the neighbors when my crocuses were blooming in the fall the first year. Then I gave them a chuckle when it was time to harvest, me on my knees pulling out those precious strands with tweezers. Got enough pickings for a couple meals each year, and then we moved. Don't know how long they continued to produce.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:05 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
About that basil, I love basil. It is one of my 3 or 4 go-to flavors from many, many recipes, and is favored above the other three, especially in savory, tomato based sauces. As was stated by others, there are physiological reasons why one person would find basil strong, while another would find it delightful. The same is true of virtually any flavor/aroma out there.

The trick is to try things, and determine what is right for you, and to try to take other people's likes and dislikes into account when preparing food.

My dad used to over-salt everything, to my taste anyway. He was far less sensitive to salt than was I. For DW, sometimes when I think something is seasoned perfectly, it's way-strong for her, and I need to adjust how I'm preparing the recipe.

Fortunately, food has such a broad range that everyone can find something they like.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
I agree with you, particularly with salt. One of my favorite entrees is ''Steak Au Poivre''. If made with whole peppercorns it can be delicious. I once had it server with cracked black pepper and it ruined the dish.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:18 AM   #30
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If you want, you could grown the "real thing" yourself! Buy Saffron Fall Crocus at Michigan Bulb

I grew these in the garden of our first house. Surprised the neighbors when my crocuses were blooming in the fall the first year. Then I gave them a chuckle when it was time to harvest, me on my knees pulling out those precious strands with tweezers. Got enough pickings for a couple meals each year, and then we moved. Don't know how long they continued to produce.
The book about Thomas Jefferson seems very interesting. I will try and find it in our library network. About the crocuses I just assumed because they are grown in very hot counties that they wouldn't grow in my area. But why not we grow several types here now . I will check out buying the bulbs and proper way to grow them. Interested to see what happens.
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