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Do saffron threads add flavor, or just color?

Just wondering if it's important to use them when a recipe calls for them, or if it's okay to substitute turmeric? Thanks!

asked by Thistle about 5 years ago
10 answers 22144 views
67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added about 5 years ago

Saffron does add a slight creamy/ smoky aroma to dishes that turmeric does not. Saffron gives a soft mild buttery yellow color whereas turmerics shade is much more intense.

516f887e 3787 460a bf21 d20ef4195109  bigpan
added about 5 years ago

The flavor is very slight, the color similar to turmeric without the harshness.
I would not do a paella without it.

0bc70c8a e153 4431 a735 f23fb20dda68  sarah chef

Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 5 years ago

Nice one, ChefOno. Made me chuckle.

The flavour can actually be very overpowering and distinct if used excessively, so be careful with those pinches. When using, brew it like a tea in a few Tbsps of hot water before adding it to your dish - this draws out the flavour (and allows you to use fewer strands).

79ca7fa3 11e3 4829 beae d200649eab49  walken the walk

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 5 years ago

Good one ChefOno. Saffron does add flavor and there are times when I go overboard with it. What does not add flavor is saffron powder which is made from safflower and all that does is add color. And then there are dishes where turmeric just does not belong...period.

Cd7ee448 49b9 4d61 a17c 8d8056cb1bce  september2013
added almost 5 years ago

Thanks for the passive-aggressive help ChefOno. : ) I now know... what it isn't.
Thanks everyone~ I'm sure you've just improved my Moroccan Lentils immeasurably.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 3 years ago

if you use high quality saffron, try to use it not so much, just couple of stigmas will give food the real gold coloring and the taste is slightly bitter if you taste it directly, that is why I prefer use saffron properly. You can also use saffron powder, that you can use for dressing also .

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 2 years ago

Turmeric will never add the specific unique flavours of saffron. Saffron works in various ways depending on saffron quality (very difficult to find real and good saffron, fraud is massive), ingredients in your recipe, cooking procedure, dosage, etc. It makes this spice somehow alchemical and a bit difficult to use : it may fade away as well as overpower and ruin the gustative landscape. If you are just after adding color to your dish, use anything cheaper than saffron. But if you have good quality saffron at hand, use it since it deteriorates with time and loses its powers after 4 years postharvest. This website teaches a lot on saffron : saffron-crocuses.com

Cd7ee448 49b9 4d61 a17c 8d8056cb1bce  september2013
added almost 2 years ago

Thanks for the information, and so well put. In the years since asking the question, I have been able to experience real saffron. I agree it is unique and wonderful.

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