ISO Saffron

saffron threadsI’m just mad about Saffron, in the words of Donovan…but these days saffron isn’t so mad about me….I can’t find the mellow yellow stuff!! Seriously….I know it’s expensive and stores have been locking it up like contraband for years….you often have to ask for it. Truly worth its weight in gold, the best quality saffron can cost from 1200 to 1500 dollars a pound! Fortunately, you won’t ever need this much….not in a lifetime.

This past weekend I was making the famous dish from Spain…. paella. And while there are many things you can put in or leave out…seafood, chicken, sausage….the one key ingredient is Saffron. Quite rightly. It turns what is ordinary chicken and rice into a  fragrant,  golden mixture that is food for the gods. There is no other flavor like it.

saffron from McCormick'sOh, I finally found saffron after calling around. One store, after leaving me on hold for 5 minutes, said “Nope, don’t have it.” Another…”We used to have it locked in the safe, but now we don’t carry it anymore.” Finally found it at the Gucci Giant…the one on Old Court in Pikesville. And while they used to put in the safe, they finally just plunked it on the shelves….it must be hard to sell what you can’t see.

Saffron is the only spice there that costs 15 bucks, for a minuscule amount! Luckily a little saffron goes a long way. A pinch of the dried threads of the purple Crocus flower (the only spice to come from a flower) will color and flavor your rice or your bouillabaisse beautifully. And I’ve found a website where you can get a good quality saffron for about 7 bucks a gram…at The Spice House, a little over $8 for “coupe” grade which is supposed to have superior coloring qualities. Looked online for it  at McCormick’s(which is where my saffron came from, but couldn’t find it…maybe they have it locked in an online safe…)

Wish I had a picture of the paella I made…..Oh so yellow….oh so mellow…

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5 Responses

  1. I get my saffron at Trader Joe’s…

  2. I purchase my saffron directly from a supplier, Myson Products – http://www.mysonproducts.com – they don’t sell their food items online, but you can call their number to order saffron.

  3. You know Kit, I wondered if Trader Joe’s had saffron…I love that place but did not check there. Next time…and I may check out Myson Products as well..never heard of them! Thanks for the tips.
    Donna

  4. I get all my spices at http://www.penzeys.com.
    I find the quality and service to be exceptional.
    As for Saffron, Kashmir Mogra Cream Indian Saffron (100% red saffron threads – the world’s finest saffron) 1G jar $13.95

  5. If you like saffron, you will love this rigatoni with braised chicken and saffron cream. It is unbelievable.
    http://michaelbeyer.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/rigatoni-with-braised-chicken-and-saffron-cream/

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