What is Saffron?
Saffron crocus grow from a bulb up to 30cm in height and are believed to be native to the Eastern area of Greece. The leaves are long thin and blade like and emerald green in colour, each bulb can produce up to 4 flowers, each flower has 5-6 petals and are pale lilac in colour with magenta veined markings, inside the flowers sits 3 deep red stigmas.
Where does Saffron come from?
Our saffron stigmas come from Spain, which is generally considered the best quality saffron to have in your store cupboard. The stigmas, sometimes referred to as styles are harvested from the centre of the crocus flowers, they are used as a natural colouring to give sauces, soups and sweet and savoury dishes a golden yellow colour and they also impart a delicate, somewhat honey-like flavour.
What does Saffron look like?
Saffron is bright orange/red.
What are alternative names for Saffron?
The Latin name for Saffron is Crocus sativus. Other names include Genuine Saffron, Saffron Crocus, Spanish Saffron, Red Gold, Azafrán, Azafron, Croci Stigma, Crocus Cultivé, Indian Saffron, Kashmira, Kesar, Kumkuma, Safran, Safran Cultivé, Safran Espagnol, Safran des Indes, Safran Véritable, True Saffron and Zafran.
How would you describe the flavour of Saffron?
Saffron has a bitter, aromatic and characteristic taste.
What is the suggested use for Saffron?
Saffron is a key ingredient in recipes such as Paella, Bouillabaise and is commonly used in many rice dishes, milk puddings and many sweet and savoury dishes to impart colour and flavour. Use to flavour soups, custards and sauces. Saffron was also used by the Egyptians as preparations for the face, in the 17th century Nicholas Culpeper described it as being ‘a very elegant and useful aromatic, of a strong penetrating smell, and a warm, pungent, bitterish taste. It is said to be more cordial, and exhilarating than any of the other aromatics, and is particularly serviceable in disorders of the breast in female obstructins, and hysteric depressions.’
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