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Old 11-09-2005, 01:09 PM   #21
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If you use too much saffron, it will taste bitter, so another reason for prudence!

Claire - But aren't those safflower flowers beatiful? I love them in bouquets whenever the markets here have them.

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Old 11-09-2005, 05:33 PM   #22
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Marmalady is right on. Saffron flavor can be described as sweet, intense flower like perfume which can be bitter if you don't watch the amount.

Here are some tips in general on saffron:

Buy it at an Indian store if you have one close by. They sell it in a gold tin container. For a large container be ready to dish out 30 dollars or so. Smaller ones go for 15. It's not that bad given a little goes a long way. If you are Indian that may not be the case since we use it a lot :-)

To add it to any dish, take a pinch of it. Add it to microwave safe bowl and heat it for 10 seconds. Then powder it. The heating intensifies the flavor and goes even further than just a pinch added directly to a dish

It goes well in both sweet and savory preparations. I think cardamom and saffron make a good pairing. So some of the European coffee cakes or Indian Kulfis and Kheers use both of these.

A lot of folks have shared their favorite savory preparation which use saffron. Indians normally use it in Biryani (a traditional rice prepared with meat or veggies) or in marinades for leg of lamb or sometimes even chicken. It has a subtle flavor that cannot be paralleled granted you use it in proper quantity.

Indians actually make milk which is infused with saffron and ground almonds and pistachios and sweetened with sugar and served chilled. It is indeed yummy. It's called "Kesar" by Indians and we even have syrups that are made with saffron. It can be stored for months and goes well with just some ice cubes on a hot summer day.

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Old 03-24-2006, 09:43 PM   #23
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Paella is not the same without saffron. You can certainly tell the difference between the with and the without. (Mind you, Paella is still nice even without the saffron, but it is certainly much better with.)

But I agree: it is a subtle flavour, and turmeric is not a good substitute.

Incidentally, do not buy saffron powder. Make sure you get the genuine stamens. And although it seems expensive, a little goes a long way.
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Old 03-24-2006, 10:41 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by GB
The last time I was at Penzys I had picked some up then put it down then picked it up then...I went back and forth a million times
Ya know, GB, I have very limited disposable income, but when I've picked something up and put it back many times, over several years sometimes, I eventually realize that I REALLY want it. So I buy it.

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Old 03-24-2006, 11:15 PM   #25
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Personally, I'm of the belief that the stuff costs so much (it's 18 dollars for a little packet of it out here) that to use it in veggies or for rice is just wasteful--well, that and I don't like saffron rice.

I use it mostly when I'm making a Mediterranean dish--usually chicken. While I like Indian food, I hate the way it makes the house smell--so we usually just go out when we're in the mood for that.

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