Features of saffron
Did you know that saffron is considered the “king of plants” and the “king of spices” all over the world. One of the reasons for the high cost of saffron is its labor-intensive production.
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world: the cost of a kilogram of this spice today varies between 6.5-8 thousand dollars. Moreover, saffron is the only spice from the Middle Ages for which they are willing to pay such a huge price.
Saffron contains many minerals, including calcium, selenium, iron, zinc, sodium, manganese, copper and phosphorus. In addition, this spice contains a large amount of B vitamins, vitamin A and ascorbic acid.
The main difficulty of saffron production is that only handwork is used to collect purple crocus flowers and process its stamens. In addition, the plant blooms only 4 weeks a year, and the duration of flowering of each individual flower does not exceed 3 days.
You need to have time to collect the stamens at dawn on the first day of flowering and dry them quickly. Only then the finished spice will be high quality. To obtain 500 g of finished saffron, you need to process about 75 thousand flowers.
Choose a spice for yourself
Saffron – a spice that has great power, one gram is enough for many dishes. The aroma of this spice is very strong. It may take 12 to 24 hours to fully open the bouquet. It is best to soak saffron receivers in water or milk to add to the dish not saffron itself, but its tincture.
For dairy dishes, creams and desserts, for baking, ice cream and jelly saffron – the seasoning is ideal. 7-8 receivers, added to the custard for the cake, will completely paint it golden and create an exceptional aroma.
Saffron is highly valued and widely used in the East, especially for meat and chicken dishes. Saffron seasoning for pilaf is sacred. And if you put this spice in pilaf with raisins, dried fruits and almonds, it will add to your dish, indeed, unsurpassed and delicious notes.
Fish and seafood dishes are also often seasoned with precious spices. Saffron colors transparent fish broths, soups and sauces in a wonderful color. Saffron will not spoil tea and coffee (especially with milk), on the contrary – two receivers added to the drink will make it simply incomparable.
In Mediterranean cuisine, it is placed in vegetable stews, used in the production of butter and various types of cheese, again because of its excellent ability to give products a golden hue. And some types of liqueurs are flavored with saffron, and the production of soft drinks is essential.
Saffron has the ability to stimulate intracellular metabolic processes, protects the skin, prevents inflammation, makes it velvety and soft, rejuvenates.
Saffron water. The prepared solution can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks. One teaspoon of saffron stamens will give 250 ml. saffron water.
1. Heat a frying pan over very low heat and fry the stamens, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes until the saffron acquires a deep red color.
2. Immediately transfer the saffron to a wooden mortar, pound into powder.
3. Carefully pour the powder into a clean jug or jar, without losing any precious grains, and pour 250 ml of warm water. Close tightly and shake well. Saffron should dissolve in water.
4. Allow to cool, and place in the refrigerator
The benefits of saffron were known to ancient healers and shamans. Regular consumption of spices cleanses the blood and liver, has a positive effect on skin color, removes toxic substances from the body that accumulate over a lifetime. The spice is used in the treatment of cancer. It helps to suppress cancer cells.
Substances contained in saffron improve vision and treat cataracts. The aroma of saffron has healing properties: it helps to get rid of headaches, insomnia, stress and other problems with the nervous system.
Saffron contains a large number of antioxidants that protect the body from the negative effects of free radicals and improve immunity. It contains potassium, which normalizes heart rate and blood pressure.
10 Impressive properties of saffron
a powerful antioxidant
has anti-cancer properties
reduces the symptoms of PMS
helps to lose weight
improves vision in adults
reduces heart disease
increases insulin sensitivity
How to distinguish real saffron from fake
Spice began to be actively forged. Saffron is considered free of impurities if it meets the requirements of ISO 3632, and no additional substances were added to natural products.
These standards are used to assess the stability of taste, aroma and color of spices, because without this saffron has no culinary value.
- Sale under the guise of saffron marigold flowers, dyed with food coloring;
- Real saffron is richly flavored with olive oil to increase its weight, and gullible consumers could get twice as much for it.
- To distinguish the real “king of spices” from soaked in olive oil, you should put the stamens on a sheet of paper and crush them. If there are impurities in the product, a characteristic oil stain will remain on the paper.
- Don’t buy ground saffron! 90% of saffron powder is fake, but fraudsters can also forge stigmas. They are even covered with glycerin to make them sweet.
- The true saffron veins are bright red, sometimes brown and soft to the touch. The stamens are bound to intertwine. Black veins indicate low quality saffron.