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Saffron – The Topic


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161 replies to this topic

#151 Hassouni

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 01:00 AM

I'm a serious devotee of Iranian saffron, and stock up whenever I'm in the Middle East, having bought it from Iranian merchants in Beirut and Dubai. The best stuff is called sargol (literally head/top of the flower), and is just the dark red tips of the threads. I use it in chicken marinades, in some chicken stews and north African-inspired tagine-type dishes, and in rice whenever I make it in the Iraqi/Iranian style - either plain, only when guests are over, or in more elaborate polow dishes (which I only know the Persian names of) - my favorite is zereshk polow, made with barberries (zereshk) and almonds cooked in butter and sugar which are sprinkled atop the rice. I've also put it in cardamom-flavored rice pudding - saffron and cardamom go exceedingly well together. I've used it before in red meat dishes, but I find the flavor gets lost. That being said, since my access to Iranian merchants is limited, I don't use very much at a time. I infused vodka with it once for a party, but the bitter, metallic tastes others have mentioned really get drawn out too much. Sure smells nice though....I think the smell of saffron is far more significant than its taste, especially when the smell of it on rice wafts through the air.

#152 budrichard

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 06:05 AM

Based on this thread(no pun intended) I just ordered an once from Saffron.com.
All my other sources including Penzy's had become too expensive and we have been without for about two years but the eaters have been complaining.
Hopefully the quality is good!-Dick

#153 Hassouni

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:42 AM

It appears saffron.com is now selling Afghan saffron. I've never heard of this - if it's from NW Afghanistan, then thats a geo-cultural continuation of NE Iran, where the best saffron is grown - so maybe it's good?

#154 TheCulinaryLibrary

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 10:18 PM

Saffron cream sauce with ricotta or feta gnocchi,is great. Ditch the new addition of potato to your gnocchi, which destroys its soft-pillow like texture. The ancient Roman army invented gnocchi. So go back to the basics with just eggs, flour and mushy fermented soft cheese. For the sauce, just add infused saffron to a light bechamel + cream ( = Classic Cream sauce). Fresh French tarragon is subtle enough to add depth but not to interfere with the saffron.

#155 Jaymes

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 08:59 AM

Last night made a recipe that I received from a contingent of Iranian fighter pilots that we entertained in our home (obviously, this was several decades back, during the time of the Shah). It calls for 2 tsp of saffron: Rice and Lamb in Yogurt Sauce

This is a dish I've prepared quite a number of times over the years, and we all love it. But I spent $20 on saffron alone. I see that several of you have ordered from saffron.com. I'm wondering if anyone else has found a less-expensive source. Has anyone had any luck at all growing it?

Edited by Jaymes, 06 December 2011 - 09:00 AM.

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#156 weinoo

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 06:58 PM

Bumping this up, as I'm thinking of ordering from Sahar Saffron. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with their product.

They sell a wide range of saffrons and have a nice, easy to navigate site.

Is there currently a restriction on buying/importing Iranian saffron?
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#157 budrichard

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 07:36 AM

The saffron (One ounce) that I purchased from saffron.com was the finest I have ever used!
The guy is an absolute fanatic about saffron and how to use it. He has detailed instructions.
Me, I just take a pinch, crumple between my fingers and add when I am ready, simple, great aroma. taste and color.
An ounce goes a looooong way.-Dick

Edited by budrichard, 27 December 2012 - 07:38 AM.


#158 liuzhou

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:54 AM

A lot of "Spanish saffron" is fake too.

http://madridman.com...n-buyer-beware/

http://news.bbc.co.u...000/9384962.stm

#159 sparrowgrass

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 02:48 PM

I have purchased from saffron.com as well, and it was very tasty.
sparrowgrass

#160 patrickamory

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 03:05 PM

Just purchased 2 grams of Afghani from saffron.com (the about page goes on and on about Iranian saffron, but they don't seem to actually have any for sale).

Will report back on how it compares to our very good Spanish (or "Spanish"?) saffron.

#161 weinoo

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:43 AM

Just received my order from Sahar Saffron. Came with a gift of the Greek stuff. Looking forward to playing around...

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
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My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs
Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

#162 Nyleve Baar

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:21 PM

I'll be off to India next week. Any saffrony advice for shopping there? I've bought - online - Kashmiri saffron but wasn't overly fond of it. Smelled to me like perfume, not saffron. Maybe it just wasn't good stuff.

Edited by Nyleve Baar, 04 January 2013 - 03:22 PM.