Our garnet red French saffron is grown in the communes around Cajarc, part of the Lot department of South-West France. Harvested in October-November it is then carefully dried. Traditionally used in paella and bouillabaisse, and to colour rice, its intense yet mild aroma can be used for so many other dishes. Allow 5 - 10 stigma per person to season potatoes in a creamy sauce, pasta, risotto, fish, shellfish cooked in cream. Try them in desserts such as steamed or baked sponges, custards, crème brûlée, pear crumble.
How to use: The saffron needs to be crushed then infused in warm water (or any other liquid) for at least 45 minutes to release its incomparable perfume and colour. The long it infuses (up to 24 hours) the better the end result. Saffron should not be cooked for too long, add to the dish just 10 minutes before the end of cooking. Store in a cool, dark and dry place. One of the most precious of all spices it makes a wonderful gift, for gourmet and foodies and all those who appreciate the good things in life!
Powdered saffron should be avoided at all costs! Firstly ground to a powder saffron rapidly loses its flavour, the oxygen in the air causing the fine particles to degrade very quickly. Secondly, certain unscrupulous suppliers don't hesitate to add safflower or calendula petals, turmeric or even brick dust. Given the value of saffron fraud is always tempting. However, in the West Indies or Réunion Island you may see ground turmeric being sold as saffron or safran-pays. Rather than fraud this is simply a local tradition as the saffron crocus isn’t grown there.