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post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have always used Spanish Saffron but recently, due to costs, have been tempted to try "American Saffron" from safflowers. How do the two compare in flavor and aroma?
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post #2 of 15
Other than the coloration, the flavor is completely different. If you're making a traditional dish that calls for saffron, the safflower pistils will fake the color, but not the flavor.
post #3 of 15
Dont even bother. dont waste your money. You might as well use Goya brand spice package called Sasson. You will save money and get same effect as American one.:crazy:
post #4 of 15
Spanish saffron is not the best saffron. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, even more expensive than vanilla. It has to be hand picked, thus it is expensive. Iranian Saffron is the best saffron, somehow Indian saffron is also great but still Iranian saffron is the best. Saffron Aroma and flavor also color depends on the climate and what method is used for cultivation. These are all secrets never spoken off. Ty to find Iranian saffron, American "azafran" is even worst. it is not real saffron.
post #5 of 15

   Hi Epex sp!



    Have you done any side by side taste comparisons?





post #6 of 15
Yes , Iranian saffron is strong in flavor aroma and color. it all depends if you have natural organic saffron with no additives.
post #7 of 15

I have neither a vested interest nor a chauvenistic rationale, but have to agree with Epex KH. Iranian saffron is considered to be the best, and is the standard against which others are compared.


With saffron, quality is judged by color (there should be few yellow threads, and the others should be a deep, rich red), aroma, and flavor. There actually are international standards, expressed in a numeric scale, for these factors, and Iranian always scores highest. For instance, the minimum color standard for ISO Category 1 saffron (the highest quality) is 190. The last ounce of Iranian I bought came in at 240, and I've seen it as high as 256.


Doesn't mean you can't get burned with Iranian. As with everything else, there are unscrupulous purveyors who will dilute and adultrate products. But if you buy from reliable suppliers Iranian is well worth the price. Let's face it, if you're paying that much for a spice, you may as well go with the best, even if it carries a premium price.


The Spanish national standards echo the ISO's, btw. But not all national standards do. So even if the saffron you buy is labeled with a breakdown be sure you know which standards are being used. If it doesn't provide a standards breakdown---or at least identify the category---maybe you should question it.

Edited by KYHeirloomer - 5/1/11 at 7:10pm
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #8 of 15

I have cultivated some Iranian friends who visit home twice per year.  They seem to have no trouble getting me the good stuff.  Ask around maybe you can find a friend

post #9 of 15

That is good that you have some friends getting you the great stuff, but we also have so great companies in USA that have the best saffron, perhaps you search internet.


post #10 of 15

I also agree with Epex Kh, I've done some search and found this website where you can get Iranian saffron @ a good price:

post #11 of 15

Initial cost is high but really, truly how much does it impact cost-per-plate basis?  A pinch of saffron thread weighs next-to-nothing and goes a long way.  28 grams, many servings per can easily recoup that cost by a very small price increase that nobody would notice.

post #12 of 15
I suggest you try them all and see the difference
post #13 of 15
Originally Posted by Epex Kh View Post

Spanish saffron is not the best saffron. 

Can't say for sure, but Goya saffron in all likelihood is produced in the United States, Puerto Rico, or Central/ South America.


Spanish saffron is of excellent quality. 

post #14 of 15

I recently bought Afghan saffron from Vanilla Saffron imports in San Francisco.  I am quite pleased with the flavor in my paella.

post #15 of 15

according to "the telegraph",a couple of years ago,90% of spanish saffron exports are,in fact,imports that are rebranded as "spanish".

i'm lucky enough to live about 4 miles from bolton,which has a huge asian/ethnic population.mile after mile of indian,pakistani,iranian,chinese & polish etc food stores.i have an iranian friend/store owner who brings me superb saffron & pistachio nuts,when he returns after a trip home.

"Be Passionate,Love,Dream Big,Be Spontaneous,Celebrate,Change The World......Or Go Home"
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