The secret life of saffron

Saffron – a spice as fine as a thread of silk and worth more than its weight in gold. The high price of this spice becomes understandable when you realize the intense labor that is required to harvest it. Those delicate sienna colored filaments are the stigmas of the Crocus sativus, also known as the saffron crocus.  Each thread must be carefully removed by hand and an amazing 150 flowers are required to produce one gram of dried saffron. Originating in Southwest Asia, saffron traveled westwards and north to become the prized spice it is today in Spanish cuisine.

Apart from imparting that gorgeous burnished orange hue to paellas, stews, seafood soups and more, saffron lends each of these dishes a warm, complex flavor that, in winter, always tugs me back to the soporific warmth of a sundried meadow.

People often walk into The Spanish Table, sniff the air reflectively, and comment that the whole stores smells of saffron. Indeed, we have a great supply of this edible gold – enough in fact to see us through a nuclear war. One must stock up on essentials.

Given its high price, there is a lot of fraudulent saffron on the market. Many countries to not have sufficient standards, allowing substitutes and fillers to be exported to the US and sold as ‘saffron.’ So it is important to know the origin of the saffron you purchase. If the price seems too good to be true it probably is. In Spain, however, the government rigorously tests saffron to be certain it is authentic. And at The Spanish Table we only sell high quality, genuine Spanish saffron.

We have three sizes on offer: 1 gram, 2 gram, or 4 gram. In terms of how many crocuses required, that’s 150, 200, or 600 flowers worth in each jar! Although not a cheap purchase, a little saffron goes a very long way; a tiny pinch of threads is sufficient for a family sized dish. Also, this spice has a shelf life of at least two years, considerably longer if you store it in a cool, dark, and dry place.

– Rachel Adams

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3 Comments

Filed under Food, Spain, Uncategorized

3 responses to “The secret life of saffron

  1. ha ha ha saffron is costly like gold i think it’s really true.
    kesar

  2. Haha! But it tastes so much better than gold!

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