Did you grow saffron crocus this year? (2023)

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Staff member
Feb 16, 2013
Waterdown, Ontario
Larry, guess this is aimed at you, lol. Couldn't find the thread where you mentioned your saffron.
Then the other day I got this mail from Farmer's Almanac and immediately thought of you.

How to Harvest Saffron

So whether or not you did plant again - and whether or not you already knew or have read similar - interesting read anyhow for us that didn't!
I bought local saffron this year because I have a dish on the menu I can't seem to take off and it has saffron in it, so I've been using a lot over the course and also use it elsewhere on the menu.

When she dropped by and said, hey would you be interesting in the saffron I grew in my garden, I said well, ok but I'd have to see, smell and give it a go first before I buy any, considering the legacy of quality saffron from Iran or Spain.

Anyway she pulled 2 small jars out of her purse, opened one up and the aroma was almost instant but the color of dark red was spectacular and of course when I pulled that jar up to my nose and closed my eyes, I was sold, regardless of the fact it was grown a few kilometers away. 13 grams and I paid 750.00. I have to admit it's the best saffron I've come across but I don't live in Iran or spain and I'm limited to what I've been offered over the years, and it also worked out to a touch cheaper than my normal supplier, so that was a bonus because I would have paid more.
Just hope she never reads this then as your next supply might be a lot more! ;)
She knew her saffron was cheaper but I suspect she priced it that way because this was her first season and the demand for saffron isn't really that large, actually pretty small and figured it wouldn't be taken as seriously as saffron from countries that are known for it. I basically took all she produced and told her that I would continue to purchase her saffron. She actually dropped by last week with some saffron and even with my high precision electric scale showed no grams, zilch.....I paid her 50.00 dollars which would get me 2 prepped recipes with about 12 orders per.
How often do you use saffron? I think I've ever only used it a couple of times.

In fact I rather imagine the saffron I do have - both the American saffron and the so called "real" stuff are probably worthless in so far as actually doing anything with the food.
Classic uses would be bouillabaisse, paella, biryani, risotto, ice cream, cakes and other desserts. The common outcome/tragedy a lot of the time is to leave saffron out because it's expensive, hard to find most of the time and does it really matter and will people know the difference? The most popular answer is no, most people wouldn't know or care if it was there or not so it doesn't get used. It's like white truffle from Alba, or Iranian beluga caviar, lets leave these out and substitute something else, who will know. Most people in NA (probably 95%) have no feelings whatsoever for these ingredients and I don't really see that change too much in the future.

Supermarket saffron from Spain for example is in the 10-13.00 a gram range and isn't bad, maybe experiment and make a classic like Risotto alla Milanese from the Lombardy region of Italy, and then leave out the saffron for comparison. This is classically served with beef shank but generally veal (ossobuco)
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Technically I did grow it this year. The flowers come back each year. Unfortunately for me, each year less and less flowers are coming back ( I think I had either 25 or 50, I forget). Unlike the spring crocuses, these guys ( or gals) bloom in the falll. I just happened to stumble upon the area they are in my yard and I saw one plant surfacing ( maybe an inch high). Hopefully more survived .

Since I have few flowers, it's really not too tedious. They all didnt bloom at once, she each day was a few flowers. The threads are thin, light weight and delicate, so I just dehydrated them on a paper towel. They dried really quickly. Looks like. picked them 2nd - 3rd week of November in the past.


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