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Old 06-18-2007, 02:32 PM   #1
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Saffron?

What region of the world is the best from? I've seen Greek, Spanish and Turkish.

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Old 06-18-2007, 02:41 PM   #2
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I believe the origin of saffron is Middle East. But I could be wrong.
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Old 06-18-2007, 02:54 PM   #3
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According to Wikpedia "Saffron, which has for decades been the world's most expensive spice by weight, is native to Southwest Asia. It was first cultivated in the vicinity of Greece."

How Greece managed to get relocated is up to you to figure out. I just hope the "pineapple on pizza" crowd doesn't discover the secret and move Italy to the south Pacific!
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Old 06-18-2007, 02:59 PM   #4
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Check out this link.
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Old 06-18-2007, 03:14 PM   #5
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I prefer saffron from Spain. I have used Kashmir saffron from India but I can't tell the difference.
I also looked at the Penzey's link that Andy provided and find that the prices they charge are pretty high. I buy my saffron in a sealed metal container directly shipped from Spain at my local Indian store for around 28 dollars.

It's the superior quality kind and it lasts me for a while. I use it a lot in my cooking - desserts as well as savory dishes.

Try shopping at Ethnic markets if they are available - Indian and/or Middle eastern for good rates. They buy it in bulk because those cuisines make liberal use of saffron and they pass the savings to the cosumer.
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Old 06-18-2007, 03:35 PM   #6
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I prefer Spanish Saffron.
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Old 06-18-2007, 03:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakuta
...Try shopping at Ethnic markets if they are available - Indian and/or Middle eastern for good rates. They buy it in bulk because those cuisines make liberal use of saffron and they pass the savings to the cosumer.
This is very true. Prices for herbs and spices sold in Indian, Middle Eastern, Asian, Etc. markets are a great deal cheaper than Penzeys or your local supermarket. It's worth going out of your way from time to time.
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Old 06-18-2007, 04:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caine
According to Wikpedia "Saffron, which has for decades been the world's most expensive spice by weight, is native to Southwest Asia. It was first cultivated in the vicinity of Greece."

How Greece managed to get relocated is up to you to figure out. I just hope the "pineapple on pizza" crowd doesn't discover the secret and move Italy to the south Pacific!
the key word here is southwest asia
or asia minor
so turkey, iran, iraq, and there's about
it might have originated there but the greeks might have been the first to cultivate it for culinary use

i too prefer spanish saffron

and for go)d sakes do not use mexican saffron it hads paltry colour and very little flavour
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:07 PM   #9
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You can grow it yourself, easily. Do a websearch for "saffron crocus" & you'll find many purveyors of the bulbs. It's a fall-blooming crocus, so easy to differentiate from spring bulbs. And even tho it takes a lot of them to make them commercially productive, for home use, growing them yourself is inexpensive & just the home cook's cup of tea!!
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
You can grow it yourself, easily. Do a websearch for "saffron crocus" & you'll find many purveyors of the bulbs. It's a fall-blooming crocus, so easy to differentiate from spring bulbs. And even tho it takes a lot of them to make them commercially productive, for home use, growing them yourself is inexpensive & just the home cook's cup of tea!!
lol true
but to harvest it you have to pluck each stamen with a pair of tweetzers
and each flower only has one
to provide how much i personally use each summer i would need an acre dedicated only to these croci
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:13 PM   #11
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Foot hills of asia, along all the "xxx-istan" countries produce the largest volume of the threads, but I like the more floral aroma of Spanish Saffron.
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:26 PM   #12
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We used to keep the pure yellow saffron in the safe at the front desk office at the place I worked at in Taos because it was soo expensive it could easily dissapear.
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obiwan9962
lol true
but to harvest it you have to pluck each stamen with a pair of tweetzers
and each flower only has one
to provide how much i personally use each summer i would need an acre dedicated only to these croci
They grow wild abundantly in the area where my country house is. Nobody picks them as it is not a traditional spice for Greek cooking. So you are welcome to help yourself. However, it is grown commercially in other parts of the country.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:09 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone for your response. One more question. How long is its shelf life in a tightly sealed container?
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obiwan9962
lol true
but to harvest it you have to pluck each stamen with a pair of tweetzers
and each flower only has one
to provide how much i personally use each summer i would need an acre dedicated only to these croci
Obi, I get about 4-5 from each of my flowers.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:30 AM   #16
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Sizz, saffron can last for a minimum of 3 years if kept in an airtight container as per this article.
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmcgrew
We used to keep the pure yellow saffron in the safe at the front desk office at the place I worked at in Taos because it was soo expensive it could easily dissapear.
I understand that. Both Country Clubs I've worked at keep Saffron away from the rest of the spices. The one up in MI keeps Saffron under lock and key, the one here in OK keeps Saffron stashed away in the Sous Chef's office.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boufa06
Sizz, saffron can last for a minimum of 3 years if kept in an airtight container as per this article.
Thanks for the i
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:02 PM   #19
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I keep mine in the freezer, tightly wrapped, until it's gone.
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