Rich and Delicate Saffron

 
Saffron ,this spice is made from orange colored dried stigmas of the especially cultivated crocus flower.The flavor of Saffron is richer, fuller, and much more aromatic.It is the most expensive spice of all. Saffron’s high cost is due to the fact that the threads are the actual stigma of a particular crocus flower and must be harvested by hand. It has a distinctively pungent, honey-like flavor and aroma. In fact, too much saffron can ruin a dish with an overpowering, medicinal taste.
The rule is that a “little saffron” will go a long way.


How to shop for Saffron?
1.When shopping for saffron, look for evenly colored, red or deep orange threads. High quality saffron threads will appear dark red – the redder, the better.
2.Smell the saffron. It should smell sweet, with a floral-type aroma.
3.Lighter colored threads or a lot of pale streaks indicate lesser quality.
4.Saffron will always be expensive; if you see a packet of a couple ounces for a few dollars, just put it back.
5.Good brands like Iranian Saffron or Spanish Saffron are superior in market.Even I possess one of the Spanish Saffron from Amazon.


How to use Saffron in Cooking?

Soaking Method
1.Crush and soak saffron in lukewarm water or milk to release its flavor. Saffron threads can easily be crumbled between your fingers.
2.Saffron needs moisture to release its flavor. The best way to extract flavor from saffron is to soak the threads in lukewarm liquid for 5 to 20 minutes. Then add both the saffron and the liquid to the recipe.
Roasting Method
1.Carefully and slowly toast threads in a heavy skillet over low heat.
2.Then grind threads into a powder and use as directed in the recipe.
I like to soak the saffron in milk for most of my Indian desserts to enhance overall color and flavor of dish. I soak saffron threads in water for overnight and give that water to my kids in early morning to gain its medicinal benefits .

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