Saffron is a beautiful spice that adds a touch of luxury and auburn coloring to many dishes. Known as the world’s most expensive spice, you might be curious to try it for dinner.
But hang on a second, do you even know how it tastes? Exactly, what does saffron tastes like?
Well, a tiny pinch has a complex, nuanced flavor. It has a floral, sweet taste, subtle earthy and grassy aroma.
Although, you might come across saffron that tastes metallic, bitter, or plastic. Those are cheap imitations and should be thrown away in the trash can.
Let’s learn more about saffron and how it truly tastes!
What Is Saffron?
Saffron is an iconic spice used by some greats like Cleopatra and Alexander the Great to add a heavenly touch to recipes.
Most people believed saffron was originated in ancient Greece. However, this plant blooms ridiculously well on hot, semi-arid lands, which is why it is a native of Asia Minor, Mediterranean, Iran, Afghanistan, India, and Morocco.
Iran is the world’s breeding ground for saffron. It is where over 90% of saffron is produced.
The spice is the stigma of the autumn crocus flower.
It has a subtly sweet and floral flavor, with a tempting fragrance that adds depth to any dish, whether in curries, stews, risottos, or even sweet buns.
Furthermore, you can add a pinch for a brilliant coloring and aroma for your deserts.
It goes well anywhere vanilla does, like in cookies, custards, and whatnot — as both flavor profiles are almost identical.
But do you know saffron was used as a perfume in ancient Greek and Rome? Today the herb is predominantly used as a cooking spice.
Mind you; you might hear many people referring to saffron as “red gold” or “the queen of allspice.”
But don’t let the fancy name fool you; saffron isn’t pocket-friendly. It is a costly spice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Spice Is Most Similar To Saffron?
Image result for what saffron tastes and look at the auburn coloring of saffron. It is often the best substitute if you’re running out. Other potions may include annatto or safflower. The sad part of the story is they are very scarce.
Why Is Saffron So Expensive?
Image result for what does saffron taste like. Saffron is expensive due to its harvest method. Since there are only three stigmata on the flower, 75,000 saffron flowers can only squeeze out one pound of saffron spice. And all the harvest MUST be done manually. I think that led to saffron’s high cost.
What’s So Special About Saffron?
Do you think saffron is overrated?
Saffron has many virtues. Besides adding a rich taste and coloring to your meal, saffron offers different health benefits. The spice is high in antioxidants to improve your mood, libido, and sexual function. It also reduces PMS symptoms and helps with weight loss.
Best of all, it’s is versatile and can be added SAFELY to almost any diet. So YEAH! Saffron is worth the money.
How Much Does Saffron Cost?
Real saffron (not the imitation) can cost $1,500.14 upwards per pound and approximately $10,000 or even more per kilo.
To get that many strands up to a kilo, it takes about 150,000 saffron flowers. And those flowers need plenty of growing space if you want to see them bloom.
For instance, a Cumin demands an acre to yield 600 kilos.
Despite the price and elbow greases put on this crop, the demand for this spice is on a jet. Each year over 200 metric tons of saffron threads are harvested, demanding up to 30 billion flowers across the globe.
Conclusion: What Does Saffron Taste Like?
Lastly, saffron taste pairs incredibly well with other flavors such as cinnamon, cardamom, almonds, honey, apples, poultry (especially heritage squab and chickens), lamb, bone marrow, milk, cream, or even vinegar.
(Try it in ice cream!), seafood, garlic, white wine, vinegar, rose water, and citrus fruits.