A handful of online stores – here in Canada, on the web, at the local boutique store – carry the saffron that can be used in traditional dishes.
Here’s a quick video of a good Saab cooking saffron.
How much for saffron?
There are good sources. Online – buy the raw material, and saffron will be available to you (even if you cannot sell at home, see below).
In the real world, it’s important to check the supplier, and ask them what they’re charging – as saffron is very susceptible to contamination.
This one saffron seller has a very low markup, and I’ve never been charged more than $3 per pound – but that can vary, depending on who you buy it from, and how long they’ve been doing business.
How to buy saffron: buy the raw material on Amazon, and it’ll be available to you, or, be sure to ask for direct from the vendor. The best way to do this, is for you to talk to the vendor, asking for their price. Ask to see the container you plan to use saffron in.
My friend, Rachel (who has done a great job at promoting saffron) has done an excellent book on how to do this, and will post links to the different book sales and recommendations here.
What can I use saffron for?
Saffron can be used in the following dishes:
Vegetables and fruits
Soup and soups
Stuffed and stuffed vegetables
Soups, as a sauce
Desserts (icecream, cakes, etc.)
A lot of recipes are gluten-free
And many uses for saffron are non-traditional, but can be very traditional, with a dash of spice. Here are some examples, as well as a few that I used in one of my recipes.
For a traditional Chinese dish (that I like to serve during Chinese New Years), you could use a few leaves of fresh saffron as garnish (see below).
Vegetables and fruits – this really depends on the species. Red or green cabbage would be great, and are hardy and easy to prepare. Green beans are pretty easy – just make sure you are using a dry one (so there’s
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