WHAT IS IT?
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus.” The saffron threads are the stigma and pistil of the flower, harvested by hand, and sold in bright red fragile clusters. Historically one of the most precious and expensive spices, their delicate harvest tends to make them quite expensive, and, accordingly, they are used in moderation in most recipes. A little goes a long way, though, and it is very worthwhile to have a little bit as a part of your aromata.
Iranian saffron is used in a large variety of persian dishes.
Saffron imparts both a bright yellow color and a very subtle aroma that is mildly floral. It’s taste comes up on the back end of dishes where it is featured as a bit pungent.
In Iran, farmers don’t use chemical materials for cultivation. Therefore, this Sargol saffron has no synthetic pesticides, preservatives, food additives or coloring.
If you are looking solely for the color, without the aroma or flavor, achiote (annatto) seeds or powder provides a similar yellow to orange hue in rices and other foods.
Native to southeast Asia, saffron was originally cultivated by the Persian Empire for the spice trade.
- Iranian chicken with tumeric, saffron, and lemon juice
- Chelo – Persian saffron rice
- Saffron and garlic soup
- Beef and saffron stew
- Saffron ice cream with ginger
A FEW IMPROVISATIONAL RIFFS:
- Smoked tuna (atún ahumado) in a saffron tomato sauce
- Saffron biscotti
- Persian pancakes with saffron syrup
- Saffron & rosewater smoked pork ribs
Saffron, truly one of the rarest of spices, has been used as a seasoning, a dye, a medicine, and in religious ceremony for more than four millennia. The flowers were bred for longer stigma. It was slowly propagated throughout Eurasia, North Africa, North America, and Oceania. Spanish saffron is well admired, but 90% of the annual global harvest comes from Iran.
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