saffron

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by corey gatto, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. corey gatto

    corey gatto

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    hi i live in Canada.  toronto area and i was wondering if it was possible to grow saffron as it is way expensive
     
  2. fr33_mason

    fr33_mason

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    Saffron is a plant that grows in semi arid places that have short, mild winters.  It is possible to grow Crocus sativus in Canada albeit with special care.  If you value your time, take that into consideration.  You do live in Toronto which is mild enough in general but you also have a generally higher humidity so take that into consideration.  Crocus sativus is a cultivar and does not exist in the wild.  The plant does not produce viable seeds so you must get the corms of the plant, break them up and plant into soil.  The flower of the plant produces three stigmas which are super elongated. To produce one gram of dried stigmas would take about 110 to 165 plants which would make it 200 plants to grow just to account for any failures within the crop, thus another thing to take into consideration.  Also it would be reasonable to assume that you would need a few years to get the hang of things such as soil and other environmental conditions to produce even a half decent spice. 

     Does it still seem so expensive now.  Personally, I live in Alberta where the conditions are quite favorable down in the central to southern regions and I still would just relegate to purchasing my saffron from my sources.
     
  3. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Just as an addition, the saffron crocus is a fall flowering plant, not a spring flowering as most crocus. This sometimes leads to confusion for those who want to try growing their own.

    Meanwhile, considering all that it takes to produce good saffron, I'll continue like Fr33-Mason and buy it.

    You might check out http://www.theposter.com/saffron2.html. They have about the best prices I've ever seen. While you're there, take a look at their vanilla as well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  4. corey gatto

    corey gatto

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    thanks guys i am def gonna just buy it
     
  5. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    One other thing, Corey. Consider the recipe carefully, as saffron is often used just for the color, rather than the flavor. In such cases, just substitute turmeric and you'll be fine.
     
  6. gerdosh

    gerdosh

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    For color only, I use safflower--very inexpensive and gives beautiful golden color to dishes. In fact, I rarely use saffron--I think its effect on dishes is greatly exaggerated.
     
  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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  8. epex kh

    epex kh

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    Hello there, Saffron can not be grown in Canada, however there are parts in Europe such as France and Italy where they grow saffron, Still none of these can be compared to Iranian saffron. Spanish and Indian saffron are also available but the quality of Iranian saffron is unique.
     
  9. fr33_mason

    fr33_mason

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     Not as a food crop but saffron can be grown as a garden plant in most areas od Canada with special care and as a perennial in a few micro climates in the country.
     
  10. margcata

    margcata Banned

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    TOLEDO, is the saffron appellation in Spain and they hold a saffron festival every October 28th or close to this date. I believe you would find this of great culinary and culture interest ... It is extraordinaire. Margcata  
     
  11. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Festivals aside, the best saffron at the best price has to be the Afghani saffron from Golden Gate.  It's cut better and has more color and better taste than any Spanish saffron I've ever used, and is much, much less expensive.  Compared to Iranian saffron, it's as good as any other brand of sargol; much, much, much less expensive, and [drumroll please] available in the U. S. of A. 

    Golden Gate aka saffron.com has got to be the best resource for both vanilla and saffron online.  If you can do better, you're growing your own or have a relative.  I know the word "best" gets used a lot in this post.  But there you go.

    BDL
     
  12. chefedb

    chefedb

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    There is a spanish product available in supermarkets made by GOYA it is calles sasson it is an artificial saffron(more for color a slight taste ) cost abot $2.00 a package.
     
  13. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    You've got me confused by  Compared to Iranian saffron, it's..... BDL.

    Golden Gate saffron is Iranian. Iranian, in general, is considered to be the best saffron in the world. One can argue "best" day and night, but there's no arguing objective numbers. The saffron from Golden Gate exceeds the ISO Catagory I standards for color and flavor, and score high in aroma. For instance, ISO minimum for color is 190. Last batch I bought scored 240.

    And at their prices, anyone can afford to use the true gelt!
     
  14. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    KYH,

    Unless someone's moved Afghanistan, you're mistaken about the country of origin for Golden Gate's current offerings.  The information given on their site, as well as the labeling on the last tin I bought from denotes the saffron as Afghan.

    As taken from the site's saffron ordering page, http://www.theposter.com/saffron2.html, this is their entire menu of saffron: 
    Saffron Threads, Sargol
    Saffron Threads, Sargol. 230-250 Units of Color. Pharmaceutical Grade. Kosher, ISO, and HACCPS Certified.

    • Afghan Saffron Thread 2 JARS-5g ea $37.95

    • Afghan Saffron Threads 5 gr. $21.95

    • Afghan Saffron Threads 1 gr. jar $5.99

    • Afghan Saffron Threads 1 Ounce $79.95

    • Afghan Saffron Threads 1/2 Ounce $44.95
    Saffron Powder
    Saffron Powder, Sargol. 230-250 Units of Color. Pharmaceutical Grade. Kosher, ISO, and HACCPS Certified.

    • Afghan Saffron Powder 1 Ounce $79.95    

    • Afghan Saffron Powder 1 gr. jar $5.99

    • Afghan Saffron Powder 1/2 Ounce $44.95

    • Afghan Saffron Powder 5 gr. $21.95

    The prices are there for all to see, and trust me the quality is phenomenally good for saffron at any price.  I don't know why an American cook who knew about it would use anything else.

    Ed,

    You got the sound right, but should have written sazons, not sassonsSazon is Spanish for seasoning.  Goya makes a number of seasoning salts, several with the potential to make things look more yellow than other because they contain things like food coloring or annato.  They're all very reasonably priced.  One, Goya Sazon con Azafran, does contain a minute quantity of bad saffron.  Here's the ingredient list:  Monosodium Glutamate, Salt, Dehydrated Garlic, Cumin, Yellow 5, Tricalcium Phosphate (Anti-caking Agent), Annato (Color), Mexican Saffron, Turmeric (Color), Red 40.

    Some of Goya's sazons are pretty good I guess if you don't mind MSG, and they're certainly well priced.; but if I couldn't afford saffron and were seasoning in the direction of say a New World stye of arroz con pollo, I'd use achiote paste, and work from there.  

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  15. chefedb

    chefedb

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    BDL  for color mix tumeric and oleo-resin of paprika. It looks good. And your right it is sazons I looked in my spice and herb cabinet.