Best Saffron -7 Cool Saffron Facts, the most precious spice in the world!
So how do we know what is the best saffron ? Luckily there are so many wonderful fascinating facts about saffron. Risotto, eggs, mushrooms and seafood, they all love being kissed by little saffron threads. I have a tiny jar of it in my spice cabinet that I like to pull out for a special occasion, like this Shellfish Risotto I love.
Cool Facts to know about the best saffron:
1. The name Saffron comes from the Arabic word ” zafaran ” which means yellow and it is the official color of Buddhist robes in India. According to Pliny, saffron used to be the most frequently falsified commodity and it was used to scent the public halls and baths of Imperial Rome.
2. Saffron is native to the Mediterranean and western Asia and it consists of the three dried stigmas of the saffron crocus. It takes about 80,000 roses to produce 1 lb of saffron and the threads must be hand picked. That explains why it is the most expensive and precious spice in the world.
3. If you find yourself in Spain on the plain of La Mancha in autumn at harvest time, you are in for a real treat of the sensual floral aromas exploding all around you as the dried stigmas are being toasted in small quantities over a low fire.
4. When buying saffron keep in mind that the best saffron has a deep red color, a honey like aroma with a delicate taste, but musky and earthy.
5. To flavor and give color to paellas and risottos, make sure to infuse the saffron threads in hot liquid for 20 minutes before using it, and use very little of it to avoid bitterness. The threads of great saffron will continue to release their flavors for another 12 hours.
6. Always buy saffron from a reliable source and only get dried stamens because they will keep their flavor well over 2 years, if stored in a cool dark place in an air tight container. Ground saffron is usually adulterated with inferior spices, don’t buy it, always look for the best saffron you can buy.
7. Saffron goes well with spinach, mushrooms, eggs, seafood, chicken and eggs, grains, potatoes,white wine, teas and even fruit. It is also the star ingredient in Risotto Milanese, the king of Italian rice dishes.
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