They Call It Mellow Yellow???

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mish

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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?
 

GB

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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.
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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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.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 

mish

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Thanx GB & Goodweed. Always wanted to try Saffron. (Now I can give the keys back to the store manager ;-] )
 

kitchenelf

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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.
 

Ishbel

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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... :cry:

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. :cry:
 

SizzlininIN

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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.
 

Lugaru

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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.
 

JohnL

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Ishbel said:
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... :cry:

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. :cry:
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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Michael in FtW

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Mish - if you want to get an idea of what saffron taste like, check in your grocery store in the rice section for Mahatma (brand name) "Saffron Yellow (Seasonings & Long Grain) Rice". Heck, no I don't follow the directions exactly! :LOL: Instead of the butter I'll start with either some EVOO, or lamb drippings, and sweat/saute a chopped onion in it ... then add the water and rice - then follow the rest of the directions on the package.

It makes a great side for roast lamb or chicken!

As everyone else noted - it is expensive, but you don't use much. If you have a middle eastern ethnic market you might want to check out their prices ... the last time I checked out McCormick I got sticker shock but was able to get about 4 times as much for $2 less at a middle eastern market.
 
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mish

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Thank you all for the input & observations.

Ishbel, I hate when that happens. When I see the word SALE, sometimes I get carried away -- thinking, one for me, & one for a friend.

Michael in FtW said:
Mish - if you want to get an idea of what saffron taste like, check in your grocery store in the rice section for Mahatma (brand name) "Saffron Yellow (Seasonings & Long Grain) Rice". Heck, no I don't follow the directions exactly! :LOL: Instead of the butter I'll start with either some EVOO, or lamb drippings, and sweat/saute a chopped onion in it ... then add the water and rice - then follow the rest of the directions on the package.

It makes a great side for roast lamb or chicken!

As everyone else noted - it is expensive, but you don't use much. If you have a middle eastern ethnic market you might want to check out their prices ... the last time I checked out McCormick I got sticker shock but was able to get about 4 times as much for $2 less at a middle eastern market.

GREAT idea, Michael. I've often seen Mahatma here in So. California. Will have to give it a try. Sounds yummy with lamb. Thank you!!!

Master, giiggling here, I'll go check ebay too, since it's one of my favorite hangouts (blushing).

BT, If you put the pistal down, I'll let the store manager go quietly. (You always make me giggle - you little devil :-])

Lately I've had Paella on the brain (re Saffron). Here's an article I came across & wanted to share. Made me feel as if I was strolling through sunny Spain & smelling the aroma of Paella being cooked...some interesting original recipes too.

P.S. If someone makes the Paella, heck, I'll bring the Saffron!

http://www.laespanolameats.com/press/press10.html
 
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Pam Leavy

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Cream of Tartar is one of the ingredients in baking powder, isn't it? Or did somebody already answer that question?


Pam

I can look it up in Joy of Cooking if you want:grin:
 

Michael in FtW

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Pam, I often wonder how anyone can cook without "Joy"! :LOL: My grandmothers taught me to cook ... Irma taught me the how's and why's of cooking.

Yep - baking powder is generally a blend of: baking soda (a base), cream of tartar (an acid) and corn starch (the filler).
 
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Pam Leavy

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I could not agree more. When we decided to move to The Netherlands I bought a new copy. It is now 20 years old. I use it every week, for something.


Pam
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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J of C was my bible when I first became serious about cooking well. I still use the recipes for puffs, and several other things. The book sits in a carefully gaurded spot as it's very old now, and the binding is just barely holding parts of the book together. I just don't want to replace it as I have heard that the newer, updated versions have lost some of the magic.

By the way, I always knew that simple baking powder was baking soda and cream of tartar. But what is double acting baking powder made from? It has a second set of acid/base ingrediants that don't activate until heat is applied. It gives you twice the leavening power of ordinary baking powder and is essential for some of my creations.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 

Pam Leavy

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I used to know the answer to that question but I forget now. That happens when you pass 50. Otherwise I am fine.


Here in the Netherlands we only have one type of baking powder. I have to buy baking soda at an import shop.

Pam
 

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