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Saffron: how to use it in the kitchen, properties, origins, cultivation and where to find the bulbs. Cost of the spice and yield.
The saffron it is considered the King of spices for its flavor and its value. Its high cost is justified by the scarce surrender production and the long manufacturing processes that make the spice the name of theyellow gold of agriculture.
It is obtained from the filaments of a botanically known flower as Crocus Sativus of the Iridaceae family; the flower has a graceful, delicate, light lilac or purple purple color. Inside its corolla there are three bright red-orange filaments, it is from these filaments that the so precious spice originates. The filaments are rich in a pigment known as crocin, it is the carotenoid that gives it to spiceits typical yellow color.
The saffronit's a spice which not only adapts to color and perfume every dish, but enhances the palate with a particular flavor.
Not just taste, saffron is also known for its benefits that it exerts on our body.
Saffron, cost and production yield
The entire production process, from harvesting to processing, is manual: the flowers are harvested manually with careful processing of the stigmas found inside the flower. It is from the drying of the stigmas that saffron is obtained. Stigmas are those thin filaments, difficult to handle mechanically and for this reason they are detached by hand. They are then dried in an oven or brazier to sterilize them.
The top costof thesaffronis justified by the production process and the low surrender. A minimum quantity of is obtained from each flower spice, you think to prepare a sachet of saffron it takes about 20 flowers, that is 60 pistils, for a kilo of saffron 150,000 flowers and two months of work are needed: this is why it is such a precious spice and with a high purchase price!
Thepriceof thesaffronis very high: we speak of acostwhich varies between 8 and 14 euros per gram of finished product.
The saffron it is rich in crocin, a carotenoid with a powerful antioxidant action. Half a gram of zafferanor provides our body with the same amount of antioxidants contained in 300 grams of tomato. To get the same amount of beta-carotenes, you should take 2 carrots or 3 peppers! Even in small doses, it does saffron manages to bring vitamins, mineral salts and precious trace elements for our well-being.
How to choose saffron
At the time of purchase it is good to have a particular eye on the price: a price that is too low compared to the most well-known brands may mean that saffron it is of poor quality.
In the sachet, the powder must have a uniform color and consistency, without white spots and must be a bright color. If not, it means that a poor quality spice has been used or that it has been mixed with other components.
Thesaffronyou can buy it in powder or filament form. We recommend the purchase in the form of filaments which, in the eventuality, can be reduced to powder independently.
To get an overview of the cost of this spice, both in powder and in "raw" form, we invite you to visit the Amazon page dedicated to gastronomy. For all the info look at the proposals onThis Page.
ATTENTION: do not store in a humid place, it could cause the development of mold.
How to use saffron in cooking
The saffron it is a spice that lends itself to many culinary preparations, from appetizers to desserts. It does not contain fats and calories but gives the dishes flavor, aroma and the characteristic yellow color.
If you are not very practical, in the kitchen it is better to use the powder in sachets than the whole stigmas. The stigmas seem to keep the organoleptic properties of the spice longer, however the powder is more practical to dose and melts more evenly and quickly. In addition, the sachet packaging has the advantage of better preservation.
For the use of the saffron in the kitchen here are some indications:
- Before adding it to dishes, dissolve it in a little water or hot broth
- Add it towards the end of cooking as saffron is a thermolabile spice, that is, it loses most of its aroma if it remains too much in contact with heat.
- Keep it in airtight containers, away from light and humidity: saffron remains perfect for 4 years.
Therecultivation of saffronyou can start frombulbs.
Also on Amazon there is no shortage of packages of 10, 20, 50 or more bulbs for the cultivation of saffron. For all information you can visit This Page where you will find packs ofbulbs of the plant Crocus sativus. Alternatively ibulbsthey can be found in specialized nurseries and garden centers.
For all the advice on how to grow saffron, we refer to the guide:cultivate saffron.