By weight, saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, and more expensive than many precious metals…this is due to the fact that saffron must be hand harvested from a special fall crocus flower. Each crocus flower only produces 3 stigmas (strands of saffron), and it takes over a quarter million strands to produce a pound!
Saffron has been around multi-tasking since about 1000 BC – as I wrote in a previous post – it used to be scattered on the floor of gathering halls and theatres in Greece and Rome to help cover the “scent” of humans :). Other uses are medicinal – as with most yellow and red foods, it’s really good for you!
As far as food goes…saffron is prized for its honey-hay like flavor and aroma, and of course, the golden yellow color it produces with just a pinch into any sauce, rice, soup, etc. Buy your saffron in tiny amounts in whole stamen form. The ground stuff isn’t nearly as good as it has more stuff from the flower to make it weigh more. If you just can’t bring yourself to spend the $$ when a recipe calls for saffron, try substituting turmeric (VERY good for you).
Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering uses saffron in bread, soups, stews, risottos like our Saffron and Orchid Petal Risotto, and even desserts! Have you tried saffron in a dish? Tell us how you liked it here !