One of the most valuable culinary ingredients used worldwide, saffron is one wonder spice that belongs to the lily family. Commercially produced in Morocco, Greece, Iran, Italy and Kashmir, harvesting and growing saffron is a quite difficult and requires a lot of labour. This warming spice can be used in a variety of dishes and it stands out to be one of the most expensive spices in the world. Because it is so expensive, saffron also happens to be the most adulterated (and fabricated) spice. However, in order to make the most of it, it is important to buy saffron in its original form. Dr. Bharat B. Aggarwal in this book 'Healing Spices' has listed down some easy ways to buy saffron. Read on to know more about them:
– As per the book 'Healing Spices', "saffron comes in two standard grades: pure stigmas (which have no style) and filaments, with a piece of pale style attached. These are also sub-graded according to the amount of crocin in the saffron. Higher crocin means better quality."
– From yellowish orange to deep burgundy, this wonder spice is available in a range of colours. While buying saffron, look out for the filaments that are easy to spot.
– Saffron is sold in various forms, including ground. However, it is always better to buy saffron threads.
– To check if the saffron you've bought is the real thing or not, you can add it in a bowl of warm water. Saffron is soluble in water and starts to leave its colour almost instantly. So, watch out!
Buying saffron can be a confusing task. Watch out for these pointers and buy the best quality saffron.
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