Saffron is probably best known as the ingredient that gives Spanish paella its vibrant, golden color. It also gives color to Indian pulaos, rice dishes such as risottos, and it has been used to flavor fish dishes and baked goods.
The “threads” or strands of Saffron are actually the stamens of a flower that thrives in the hot climates listed above. Grown in Kashmir, Iran, and Spain, these colored threads may be small, but they have a history of being used as fabric dye, in perfume, and of course, cooking. Saffron has always been a big deal. At one point, it was even more expensive than gold!
Beside its aroma and taste, Saffron is also known for being expensive, but its flavor justifies the high price tag for those who can afford it. Harvesting saffron threads for sale is an extremely labor intensive process. The threads are the stigma of a flower called the saffron crocus and each crocus contains only three threads. Each delicate thread must be removed by hand and by carefully roasted in order to dry it out.
But, how does Saffron taste? It has been described as having a subtle, aromatic, but complex flavor that is difficult to describe if you have never tried it. It takes just a small pinch of saffron to bring forth its unmistakable flavor in any dish, yet it is never overpowering.It can be floral, but not overpowering. Earthy, but not pungent. Smooth, yet distinct.
So far the question is, where to buy and how to choose high quality Saffron? When buying saffron, make sure to look for threads that are uniform in length, unbroken, that are vibrantly colored. Avoid buying any bargain-priced saffron. These are often old Saffron threads that are mixed with other parts of the flower or marigold stigmas. It may work but the flavor will not be the same.
Due to its high quality, Saffron can be tough to come by. You may be lucky to live close to a spice shop and find it there. You can also try grocery stores that carry specialty ingredients or to buy online in fine food stores such as Caviar Lover.
Just like Caviar, Saffron has proved to be more than a delicacy, it is also great for your health. Studies have shown that Saffron is a good source of manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, and potassium. It also contains antioxidants such as crocin, a carotenoid which gives Saffron its bright color. Furthermore, in traditional medicines, Saffron has a record of being used to treat depression, asthma, and cancer.
So, now you know a lot about Saffron. What it is, how it tastes, where to buy it but have you ever considered serving it with Caviar? Yes! Saffron and Caviar turns out to be a powerful duo and if you’re not sure on how to pair them, these are two recipe ideas to take note and try at home.
Saffron-french toast with smoked salmon and salmon roe
12 slices white bread
125 ml milk
30g unsalted butter
40 ml olive oil
Preheat oven to 140°C. Use a 3cm cutter to cut out two circles from each slice of bread. Place the eggs and milk in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add saffron and set aside for 45 minutes. Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Dip the bread in the saffron mixture allowing excess batter to drain off, and fry for 1-2 minutes each side until golden. Spoon some creme fraiche, smoked salmon and salmon roe on each toast, serve and that’s it!
Salmon Caviar with Saffron Angel Hair Pasta & Fresh Peas
½ lb Angel Hair Pasta
1 Grilled Onion
1 cup Frozen or Fresh Peas
1 cup Vegetable Stock
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
¼ cup Plain Greek yogurt
Fresh Dill or Chives
Boil water for the pasta and add the Saffron threads, cook angel hair until done. While pasta is cooking, heat together gently, sliced grilled onion, peas, stock and butter.Plate the pasta, top with 1 Tbsp of plain Greek yogurt & ¼ ounce Salmon Caviar then drizzle peas and onions around the pasta. Last, garnish with fresh dill or chives if desired.
So, what do you think about Saffron and Caviar for your next dinner gathering? Try serving these two delicacies and get ready to surprise your guests with this combination. The best part is you’ll be able to find everything you need in Caviar Lover. Visit our online store and take a look at our specialties section to find Saffron and much more!
And if you’re searching for the highest quality Caviar, this is your place, too. Imported or domestic, Caviar Lover is your go to fine food store. Visit us and discover everything we have for you!