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Old 06-01-2005, 01:19 PM   #1
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Saffron?

I was looking at a recipe that called for a few strands of saffron, or 1/8 tsp of powdered saffron. What is it? I've never heard of it.

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Old 06-01-2005, 01:23 PM   #2
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Here's a blurb I found on a website devoted to saffron. It is an essential in lots of cuisines around the world.

Saffron is the world's most expensive spice. And that is because it uses only the three strands of the crocus sativus flower - a type of iris, which blossoms in the autumn in the northern hemisphere. At the time of harvest the three red strands or stigma need to be plucked from each flower by hand. This is time consuming and labour intensive and means that about 500,000 strands will need to be gathered in this way to produce 1kg (2lbs) of the spice.
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Old 06-01-2005, 01:24 PM   #3
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Saffron is the dried stigma of a certain type of crocus. It's gathered by hand, thus the cost. It takes thousands of flowers to make a pound of the stuff.

It's extremely expensive but you only need a little. Don't go for the powdered as it can be adulterated with other additives.

You can buy a very small quantity for less than $5. and it will do for a couple of recipes.

http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penze...yssaffron.html
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Old 06-01-2005, 11:16 PM   #4
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so what sort of flavor does it add to a dish?? it must be very strong if you only need a few strands per recipe
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Old 06-01-2005, 11:29 PM   #5
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It IS potent stuff. In addition to the flavor, it imparts a serious yellow color to the dish. If the recipe doesn't have a lot of liquid in it, bloom the safron in some warm water before adding it to the recipe.

As to what it tastes like... I can't describe the taste of someting you've never tasted by trying to relate it to something you have eaten (tastes like ???????). I don't know that saffron tastes like anything else.
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Old 06-02-2005, 04:38 AM   #6
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you can get a small amount of saffron in the Mexican foods section in the ethnic foods aisle extremely cheap. i don't even think it's 2 bucks for a packet of it.
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