Saffron and Cooking with the Ancient Spice
The History of Saffron, an Ancient and Storied Spice
None too many spices have such long and storied history as that of saffron. The use of saffron dates back thousands of years. It crosses continents, cultures, and modern beliefs in food and medicine. History books, works of art, artifacts, songs and even poetry all reference saffron and its many uses, both cooking and medicinal. How did this peculiar spice, which is said to cure depression, alleviate pain, and assist with healing come to be, though?
The use of Saffron spice has been documented by so many
From the bronze age and saffron's documented use in art frescoes across Greece to Cleopatra, who used saffron in her bathing water before getting jiggy with her lovers, so much is still misunderstood with saffron. How do I use saffron? What do I use saffron for? How much saffron should I use? These are some of the most frequent questions we always get asked.
So why is saffron so special and what dishes are you supposed to cook with it anyway? Most recipes that come to mind when people think of saffron are classics: bouillabaisse, paella, saffron rice, and risotto alla Milanese to name a few. This article has several other great saffron recipes for those of you that are looking to make the most of your precious saffron spice, but some of our personal favorites can be found right here!
Some of our personal favorite recipes with saffron
We actually have quite a few favorites when it comes to using saffron. Do you want sweet, savory, or are you just looking to try something new? If you have not tried any sweet recipes with saffron you really do not know what you are missing. Saffron pairs remarkably well with cream, orange, vanilla, cinnamon, honey, and so much more.
A couple of personal favorites are our olive oil cake with saffron frosting; rich cream cheese frosting and unbelievably moist cake base, which is topped with pistachios and rose petals, make this recipe to die for! Next up, has to be saffron cream bear claws. Seriously, who does not love donuts? With the addition of saffron to these morning treats, you might want to send the kids to school early so you can keep them for yourself. Enjoy them with a cup of rich Earl Grey tea taken with milk, lemon, and honey. Trust us, you will thank us.
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Zafferano and its use in the famous risotto Milanese shows us that saffron is best used in moderation and unison with other high quality ingredients to create simple yet elegant dishes that are teaming with flavor.