My dear friends, I have a nice little gift for you.
::tap dancing with excitement!!::
A few weeks ago, I ordered my yearly supply of Saffron from my fav supplier. I wrote to them, asking if they be willing to donate some saffron for a contest that I wanted to hold – and they generously said, “YES!”
I’m not talking about a few wispy threads in a teeny tiny jar the size of my thumb. I’m talking about a mountain of saffron so big that you’ll giggle and squeal with delight.
Just so you know, I’m NOT getting paid to promote their stuff – I contacted them with the idea of a random drawing.
Let’s talk about saffron for just a bit. If you aren’t familiar with how saffron is graded or how to judge good saffron from the crappy stuff – here’s a little lesson.
What is the stuff and why is it so *(&#!!&*$%% expensive?
Saffron is known as the world’s most expensive spice. It is the stigma from a Crocus flower. Each flower produces 3 saffron threads, which must be harvested delicately by hand and dried. Itakes over 13,000 threads to make one ounce!!!
My photo above is one ounce of saffron.
<–photo from Wiki
Crocus Sex 101
The top part of the stigma (above the dotted line) is the “saffron” – this is the only part of the thread that has flavor and intense color. These are the goods.
The bottom part (below the dotted line) is the shitty stuff, called the style. It has virtually no culinary value – being aromaless, tasteless and gives no color to your dish.
Some evil saffron sellers will try to package the entire thread as “saffron.” Bastards.
So, to judge quality of saffron, you can just simply look at the color of the threads and see if you have a lot of the shitty style part attached. Of all places that I get my saffron, the most consistent quality + best prices have been with Saffron.com, which is based in San Francisco. (hey, you San Franciscan’s out there – give me your input on this company…have you purchased from them before and do you know anything about the company?)
To use saffron, you first soak a pinch of threads in a couple tablespoons of warm water to release its flavors, color and aroma. When the recipe calls for the saffron to be added, just add the threads + water to the dish.
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