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Old 03-08-2005, 04:46 PM   #1
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They Call It Mellow Yellow???

I'm just wild about Saffron?...

Have many recipes calling for Saffron, haven't found it, but not seriously looked, since heard it's costly & probably wouldn't use it every day.

Anyone, able to locate Saffron in their local market...if so, heard it's pricey...how much? Can it be found. Read somewhere it's locked up in the store manager's office. Truth or myth? Think the substitue might be turmeric, but never used it. Would like to try the recipes I have calliing for this ingredient, but am puzzled. Do I need to take out a second mortgage for this stuff lol. How expensive could it be?

Other question about cream of tartar. Anyone use it? Can I just use cornstarch instead as a thickening agent? What have your experiences been?

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Old 03-08-2005, 05:06 PM   #2
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Hi Mish,

Yes saffron is expensive. It is actually the most expensive spice there is. You will not go broke buying it though, and no it is not kept under lock and key. A little goes a long way so even though it is very expensive, you do not need to buy a lot of it. Turmeric is used as a sub, but only for the color, not for the flavor. I have seen it in specialty markets and occasionally in my supermarket, but if I were to buy it I would get it from Penzys.

Here is a link to the Saffron page on Penzys. You will see that it is expensive, but for anywhere from $6.50 to about $10 you can get a gram of saffron which is actually a decent amount. Most recipes just call for a few threads of the stuff and there are quite a few threads in a gram.
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Old 03-08-2005, 05:13 PM   #3
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Think very pricey. I can get it at the local supermarket around here. McCormics brand sells it in bottles. If you purchace it in the middle east, it can be had in pounds for a couple of bucks. If you purchase it here in the states, well you'll pay about 8 bucks for what comes in the McCormics spice bottle. And how much comes in that little bottle you ask. Well, go into a field and find a brushy weed, or grass, with thin shoots sprouting from the flower head. Then look at the stamens of the flower, not much larger in diameter than 2 or 3 hairs, and about a quarter inch in length. Put two of those stamens in a bottle, after theyve been dried. You'll have about the same amount of solid matter as in the spice bottle, and for a paltry fee of just $8 U.S.

The flavor is not at all like tumeric. It's more like tobaco. It is very potent and not much is needed to flavor a batch of rice. For my taste buds, I just don't need, or even like it much. But I had to try it. Just like I had to try truffle oil, squid, or any other exotic food I could get my hands on.

You can usually find Saffron in gourmet shops as well.

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Old 03-08-2005, 10:00 PM   #4
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Wink

Thanx GB & Goodweed. Always wanted to try Saffron. (Now I can give the keys back to the store manager ;-] )
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Old 03-08-2005, 10:45 PM   #5
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The last bottle I bought was McCormick's and it was around $13.99 or somewhere close. Keep it tightly sealed in the little envelope and in the dark. It will last much longer.

Like GB said - turmeric is a good substitute for color but definately not flavor. Like everyone said - a little goes a long way and you will definately be glad you got it.
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Old 03-09-2005, 05:31 AM   #6
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I use saffron a lot in cooking. But, like many people with an eye for a bargain, let me tell you about how I was 'had' a couple of years ago...

I was in a really great local market in Chania on the Greek Island of Crete. There, on one stall full of many herbs and spices was a real bargain. A bag of powdered saffron (rather than the stamens) which was for sale for the equivalent of 5 UK pounds. WOW, what a bargain, I thought - and in my greed, bought 4 bags, enough for one for me and three for 'foody' friends....

Got it home to the UK - and found it wasn't saffron at all, but a mixture of stuff, including turmeric.
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Old 03-09-2005, 05:46 AM   #7
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wow i never knew it would be this pricey. I think ill start importing and selling on ebay lol.
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Old 03-09-2005, 09:47 AM   #8
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I believe I saw this at WalMart recently in the Spice Isle.....if memory serves me right it was around $13.00. Since I've never tasted anything with this spice in it I passed it up. Someday Somewhere someone will be cooking a dish with this particular spice and I'll know for sure if I like the flavor or not.
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Old 03-09-2005, 03:09 PM   #9
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One thing that's stuck with me was a show where I saw a chef who was stationed in Irak during desert storm picking up aobout a pound or so of saffron for next to nothing and going on and on about how much it was worth in the US.
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Old 03-09-2005, 04:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishbel
I use saffron a lot in cooking. But, like many people with an eye for a bargain, let me tell you about how I was 'had' a couple of years ago...

I was in a really great local market in Chania on the Greek Island of Crete. There, on one stall full of many herbs and spices was a real bargain. A bag of powdered saffron (rather than the stamens) which was for sale for the equivalent of 5 UK pounds. WOW, what a bargain, I thought - and in my greed, bought 4 bags, enough for one for me and three for 'foody' friends....

Got it home to the UK - and found it wasn't saffron at all, but a mixture of stuff, including turmeric.
The same thing happened to my Father, although in a much smaller quantity. He brought me back a spice pack from one of the carribean islands that supposedly contained saffron.
It unded up being tumeric also.
John.
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