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saffron-msg - 1/12/12


Types of saffron. period uses.


NOTE: See also these files: saffron-art, spices-msg, garlic-msg, seeds-msg, herbs-msg, capers-msg, p-herbals-msg, rue-msg, spice-storage-msg, spice-mixes-msg.


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NOTICE -


This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear  at this time. If information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                 AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

************************************************************************


To: Mark S. Harris

From: Chris and Elisabeth Zakes <moondrgn at bga.com>

Date: Sun, 26 Jan 1997 00:21:36 -0600

Subject: Re: Glasses


At 11:58 PM 1/25/97 -0600, you wrote:

>My first thought when I saw your comments on saffron was "Why

>would someone need eye protection from saffron?". As in safety

>goggles. But I imagine you are talking about doing something

>minute with the saffron. Do you have seperate out the tiny

>blossums from something else?

>

>  Stefan li Rous


No, it appears that bulk saffron can cause an allergic reaction. The rest

of the section said:


"If a man do but open and ransack a bag of one hundredweight or two

hundredweight, as merchants do when they buy it, it will strike such an air

into their heads which deal withal that for a time they shall be giddy and

sick (I mean for two or three hours' space), their noses and eyes in like

sort will yeild such plenty of rheumatic water that they shall be the

better for it long after, especially their eyesight, which is wonderfully

clarified by this means; howbeit, some merchants, not liking of this

physic, muffle themselves as women do when they ride and put on spectacles

set in leather, which doth in some measure (but not for altogether) put by

the force thereof."


-Tivar



From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy M Renfrow)

Newsgroups: rec.food.historic,rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pickled Lemons

Date: 29 Jan 97 16:16:33 GMT


markh at risc.sps.mot.com (Mark S. Harris) wrote:


> > 7 T of Saffron is of course 7 Threads of real Saffron.

> > I don't remember the conversion to artificial saffron.

> >

> > Steveg

>

> Huh??? There is artificial saffron? The real stuff is all I've ever

> seen. You know the stuff that usually is in an envelope in the standard

> sized jar and you get a few grams of instead of ounces.

>

> Perhaps the recipe should specify real or artificial saffron then.

> Although I guess if you know that both types exist than you would

> know which one is meant.

>

> So, does anyone have the standard conversion for this, if such a

> standard exists? This still doesn't settle the question of how

> many threads of saffron to use, although I'll probably try 7

> threads sometime.

>

> Stefan

> --

> Ld. Stefan li Rous     Barony of Bryn Gwlad        Ansteorra


Hello!  Yes, there is an "artificial", or rather a "substitute" saffron -

the safflower, Carthamus tinctorius, was used in period as an adulterant

for Crocus sativus.  It gives the same color, but no flavor, & is

available for about $2.00 per ounce.  It is also called Mexican Saffron.

BTW, 7 Tablespoons is not an unreasonable amount for a period recipe - the

14th century Le Menagier de Paris calls for the use of an ounce of saffron

for a dinner party of 40 people. In 1597 Gerard wrote "common or best

knowne Saffron groweth plentifully in Cambridge-shire, Saffron-Waldon, and

other places thereabout, as corne in the fields."


Hope this helps!


Cindy Renfrow

renfrow at skylands.net

http://www.alcasoft.com/renfrow/



From: "Morgan E. Smith" <mesmith at freenet.calgary.ab.ca>

Newsgroups: rec.food.historic,rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pickled Lemons

Date: Thu, 30 Jan 1997 08:53:06 -0700

Organization: Calgary Free-Net


The term "artificial saffron" struck me as weird too.

    There are two types of saffron that I am aware of: true saffron, which

is very expensive in comparison with most other imported spices, and

"American" saffron, which is fairly cheap by comparison. Both are "real"

saffron (coming from a crocus plant) but the American variety is grown in

larger quantity, and the plant yields more saffron threads than the

imported variety.


Morgan the Unknown



From: harper at tribeca.ios.com.REMOVE.THIS.TO.REPLY (Robin Carroll-Mann)

Newsgroups: rec.food.historic,rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pickled Lemons

Date: Fri, 31 Jan 1997 01:43:48 GMT


"Arthur A. Simon, Jr." <aasimon at phoenix.net> wrote:


>Alf Christophersen wrote:

>>

>> markh at risc.sps.mot.com (Mark S. Harris) wrote:

>>

>> >Huh??? There is artificial saffron? The real stuff is all I've ever

>> >seen. You know the stuff that usually is in an envelope in the standard

>> >sized jar and you get a few grams of instead of ounces.


>Try about 100 milligrams (1/10 of a gram).

>>

>> Saffron is very often adulterated. Even buying it as threads isn't

>> safe. It can be the more poisonnous autumn crocus which has been used

>> several times due to a report I read once.


>Interesting. The references I have state that the crocus that produces

>saffron *is* the autumn-blooming "crocus officinalis". I am interested

>also in the "poisonous" nature of saffron. I would guess that eating

>crocus bulbs would certainly disagree with one, sooner or later, but

>the stamens?


According to _The Herb Book_ by John Lust, saffron, commonly known as

autumn crocus or Spanish saffron, comes from the stigmas of crocus

sativus.  (Safflower, AKA American saffron or false saffron, is

carthamus tinctorius.)  Mr. Lust goes on to say that saffron contains

a poison that acts on the kidneys and central nervous system.  "10 to

12 grams is a fatal dose for human beings."


>Art, curious.


Harper % at % at % Robin Carroll-Mann

harper at tribeca.ios.com



From: alf.christophersen at basalmed.uio.no (Alf Christophersen)

Newsgroups: rec.food.historic,rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pickled Lemons

Date: Fri, 31 Jan 1997 19:59:38 GMT

Organization: Dep. of Nutrition, University of Oslo


jack at purr.demon.co.uk (Jack Campin) wrote:


>"Morgan E. Smith" <mesmith at freenet.calgary.ab.ca> writes:

>> There are two types of saffron that I am aware of: true saffron, which

>> is very expensive in comparison with most other imported spices, and

>> "American" saffron, which is fairly cheap by comparison. Both are "real"

>> saffron (coming from a crocus plant) but the American variety is grown in

>> larger quantity, and the plant yields more saffron threads than the

>> imported variety.

>

>On my last visit to Turkey I bought a whole mass of saffron (about half a

>pound, I think) at a remarkably low price compared with the Spanish stuff.

>Was this likely to have been the "American" variety you're talking about?


More likely the Persian Saffron as Mrs. Grieve call it. It was once

tried to be introduced to Britain because it was much cheaper to grow

and harvest, (a wild saffron variety), but the taste was inferior, so

the market seemed to prefer the spanish variety. Btw. Mrs. Grieve says

that Saffron Walden in UK has its name derived from the fact that they

did grow saffron (Crocus sativa) in Britain for commercial purpose.


Alf Christophersen

alf.christophersen at basalmed.uio.no



From: "Morgan E. Smith" <mesmith at freenet.calgary.ab.ca>

Newsgroups: rec.food.historic,rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pickled Lemons

Date: Sun, 2 Feb 1997 08:57:25 -0700

Organization: Calgary Free-Net


American Saffron is a product of the safflower plant. I am not a botanist,

so its relationship to the crocus (Spanish saffron) is unclear to me. I

soak my saffron in a little lemon juice and hot water for about half an

hour. The taste is not strong. I have used both

American and Spanish varieties: I don't find a huge difference. A friend

of mine (who was a botanist) said that the two types are very similar

botanically. But I think it may be a cultural thing, and that modern North

American taste-buds require more "oomph" to notice subtler variations.

Morgan the Unknown



From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at postoffice.ptd.net>

To: sca-cooks at eden.com

Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 07:21:19 -0500 (CDT)

Subject: Re: sca-cooks spices -Reply


At 10:30 AM 4/10/97 -0500, Stefan li Rous wrote:


>Apparently there are different saffrons available today. This came

>up on the Rialto recently when someone gave a recipe that used 7

>tablespoons of saffron. Since I only knew of the Spanish saffron

>this seemed like a small fortune to me. Although we never got an

>answer from the original poster, some thought they must have been

>speaking of substitute safron.


I think in this case there may be an additional factor. The recipe (in

answer to my post for a recipe for Pickled lemons on rec.food.historic,

which carried over to rec.org.sca) was egyptian, and I fully believe that

the pickling juice was meant to be used and re-used, and the pickled lemons

(which were actually fermented lemons) were to be used very sparingly.

Middle Eastern cultures use saffron so frequently in their cooking that they

must have developed an economical source for it. Thus TBSP of saffrom may

not be out of the question in this context. And, the original autor admitted she may have made a mistake.



From: nweders at mail.utexas.edu (Nancy Wederstrandt)

To: sca-cooks at eden.com

Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 08:18:25 -0600

Subject: sca-cooks Re:substitutes for saffron


Tumeric is often used as a cheap coloring agent to replace saffron.  While

the taste is nothing like saffron, it makes things yellow. (sometimes more

than you want)  You can die eggs with tumeric.  It is a root that is dried

and then ground. The plant looks similar to a ginger or cardamon plant. It

is used in eastern (indian) cooking and in the west it is used in mustard

and pickles, alot.


Safflower is probably the closest of the substitutes.  it is easy to grow

and easy to save.  I've grown saffron  and safflower in Ansteorra with

medium and good results, respectively.  Probably you could mix the two and

get a large quantity with a little aroma of saffron.


        On a side note. buddhist monks used saffron to dye the robes they

wear.  The yellow from saffron is water soluable and the red is extracted

through alcohol.  Offical documents used to be tied up with thin ribbons of

saffron dyed red.... hence the term "red tape"  It's from saffron ribbons.


Clare R. St. John



From: dragon7777 at juno.com (Susan A Allen)

To: sca-cooks at eden.com

Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 23:22:28 -0700

Subject: Re: sca-cooks spices -Reply


On Thu, 10 Apr 1997 10:30:41 -0500 JANINE BRANNON

<janineb at smtpgw.mis.ssh.edu> writes:


>How about tumeric?  It would give the color you need - but flavor?

>Is tumeric period?


Saffron flowers are used (in mexican cooking) to give the saffron color,

tumeric is more greenish and very bitter if too much is used.


Susan



From: James and/or Nancy Gilly <KatieMorag at worldnet.att.net>

Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 22:15:30 +0000

Subject: SC - Re: spices


At 03:47 10-4-97 +0000, Stefan wrote:

>Derdriu asks:

>

>> And, while we have spices and plants of the

>>same name today as they did then, which ones are different? Are there any

>>beyond Cinnamon/cassia and Cinnamon/ceylon, which, while sharing a name,

>>are quite different in flavor?

>

>Apparently there are different saffrons available today. This came

>up on the Rialto recently when someone gave a recipe that used 7

>tablespoons of saffron. Since I only knew of the Spanish saffron

>this seemed like a small fortune to me. Although we never got an

>answer from the original poster, some thought they must have been

>speaking of substitute safron. For instance:

>-----

>Yes, there is an "artificial", or rather a "substitute" saffron -

>the safflower, Carthamus tinctorius, was used in period as an adulterant

>for Crocus sativus.  It gives the same color, but no flavor, & is

>available for about $2.00 per ounce.  It is also called Mexican Saffron.

>    Cindy Renfrow

>-----

>

>Any other examples?

>  

>    Stefan li Rous

>    markh at risc.sps.mot.com


Quoting from the Penzeys catalogue (Summer 1996 - I know I have a more

recent one, but gods only know where it is):


"Kashmir saffron has long been known to saffron lovers as the world's

premiere saffron, usually unavailable in this country.  Long, moist, dark

red strands.  Superior quality. Spanish saffron is consistently good and

available.  10% yellow threads. Spanish is usually less expensive than

Kashmir, but with weather troubles the price has risen, making Kashmir a

much better buy."


Their prices then were:


     Kashmir:  $6.95/1 g, $36.95/.25 oz

     Spanish:  $5.95/1 g, $31.95/.25 oz


Incidentally, they also offer both cassia (Chinese, Sumatran, or Vietnamese

- - the latter at approximately double the cost of the other two) and cinnamon.


Slainte -

Alasdair mac Iain

- -----------------------------

James and/or Nancy Gilly

katiemorag at worldnet.att.net



From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Date: Wed, 04 Jun 1997 11:19:58 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - coloring cheese?


ND Wederstrandt wrote:

>

> I didn't think so either... I mean I knew they colored cheese but didn't

> know everything they used... when I pulled the sope recipe this morning

> from Good Huswife's Jewel(1596) I saw the note on a different page stuck in

> the middle of how to preserve apples and what makes a good pig.  It makes

> sense since vast quantities of saffron were grown around Saffron-on-Waldon

> (hence the name)  I make soft cheese so next time I make some I'm going to

> try it.  I haven't tried marigolds either but will try a batch with that as

> coloring. Does anyone else know what coloring agents were used?

>

> Clare St. John


Well, various green leaves, primarily sage and parsley, are known to

have added both flavor and color to soft cheeses eaten fairly fresh.

This may have arisen as a side effect of using herbs to curdle the milk

(sage and nettle tops seem to be the standard).  Markham (Again! Oy!

[Slaps forehead]) calls for saffron to be added to the peculiar mixture

he says should be used to "run" your milk into curds. Another thing to

consider is that for aged cheeses, they tend to become fairly

yellowish-brown as they become drier, with the ratio of fat to total

mass becoming higher.


Just a side note on the whole Saffron Waldon issue. I remember reading

somewhere that the idea of growing saffron crocuses in the area was

something of a failed experiment. It was evidently done for a time, but

there is some question as to how much impact the practice had on the

trade in a spice that remained consistently one of the more expensive

ones. One possibility has to do with fluctuating weather across Europe,

and another has to do with the cost of labor required to turn crocuses

into saffron.


That, of course, has little to do with the point you were making... .


Adamantius



Date: 4 Aug 1997 12:40:00 -0700

From: "Marisa Herzog" <marisa_herzog at macmail.ucsc.edu>

Subject: SC - saffron substitute was-Adv


right and I am not familiar enough with saffron to know what the lack of

it will do to the recipe's flavor.


I don't claim to be particularly experienced, and I haven't cooked much with

saffron but:

1) most recipes don't seem to call for much (a couple or few threads), so you

might be able to swing just spring for a single package of the stuff at some

place like "Trader Joes" that has good groceries for less than bigger name

chains.

2) my herb books say that calendula or marigold is a substitute, though I

think this may just duplicate the nice color, I don't know if the flavors are

comparable?

- -brid



Date: 5 Aug 1997 08:39:19 -0700

From: "Marisa Herzog" <marisa_herzog at macmail.ucsc.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - saffron substitute


I just got a beautiful book called "Brother Cadfael's Garden"  based on the

mystery novels with the 12th Century monastic main character.  It appears to

be very good at researching the herbs and such used in this series of novels

and cross referencing them against period sources.  So far it has one of the

most complete and accesible encyclopedias of herbs with pictures that I have

found.


Of course I forgot to bring it to work with me to get the names right, but

under saffron it had


1) "true" saffron (the really expensive stuff)

2) another crocus used as a substitute and

3) "false" saffron, which wasn't a crocus and I didn't recognize the scientific name.


- -brid



Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 12:47:40 -0500

From: gfrose at cotton.vislab.olemiss.edu (Terry Nutter)

Subject: Re: SC - saffron substitute


Hi, Katerine here.  Juana Teresa asks whether saffron that is identified as

"Spanish" is better than ordinary.  Here's the best answer I can give.


In modern use, saffron is the stamens of a crocus (I believe that the

alternative crocus that can be used isn't any more, but I may be wrong).

Safflower stamens are sometimes used as a substitute, and very occasionally

sold under the name "saffron". The latter is a variety of fraud.


"Spanish saffron" should be crocus stamens that were grown and harvested

in Spain.  While the Spanish climate seems to be good for saffron, I don't

know that it's enough better than others to produce a noticeably different

spice.


It shouldn't be safflower -- but nothing labeled "saffron" should, and some

things are.  People who will lie about what it is, will also lie about

what variety of what it is.


A better protection than the label is knowing the provider.  (Once you've

worked with saffron for a while, you can tell it from safflower anyhow.)


Cheers,

- -- Katerine/Terry



Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 16:21:22 -0500

From: gfrose at cotton.vislab.olemiss.edu (Terry Nutter)

Subject: Re:  SC - question on grades of saffron (was re:  advice)


Hi, Katerine here.  Kat asks how to tell saffron from safflower.  The

simple answer is that the threads don't really look alike; but you need

to be used to looking at saffron threads to tell the difference.


- -- Katerine/Terry



Date: Tue, 05 Aug 1997 17:55:28 -0400

From: "Nick Sasso (fra niccolo)" <grizly at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: SC - question on grades of saffron (was re:  advice)


Terry Nutter wrote:

> Hi, Katerine here.  Kat asks how to tell saffron from safflower.  The

> simple answer is that the threads don't really look alike; but you need

> to be used to looking at saffron threads to tell the difference.


There is an explanation about the brands and where they come from at


http://www.saffron.com/facts/saffron/


I found this page showing some basic facts about saffron.  It is from a

commercial source, so may be slanted in presentation.  The facts seem

reasonable from my lay observation.


http://www.babysaffron.com/gis.htm


fra niccolo



Date: Tue, 05 Aug 1997 18:50:16 -0400

From: "Nick Sasso (fra niccolo)" <grizly at mindspring.com>

Subject: SC - Saffron links, a plethora


I promise, this is the last of the links I'm sending.  I got excited

about finding out about this subject.  I think I'm off to the University

library for some hard copy references to do my own work.


http://www.frontierherb.com/spices/notes/spices.notes.no6.html


http://www.veg.org/veg/Orgs/VegSocUK/Recipes/saffron.html


http://www-bus.tp.ac.sg/salien.htm


http://www.reidgroup.com/~dmg/faqs/spices/node50.html (check out what

Mexican saffron is!!!  "...the flower of Carthamus tinctorius L. which

is an annual herb grown in the temperate regions of Central MÈxico. Its

quality is quite inferior to real saffron but it has similar coloring

properties. It is far cheaper. )


http://www.cuisinenet.com/glossary/saffron1.html


niccolo



Date: Fri, 8 Aug 1997 10:13:12 -0400 (EDT)

From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

Subject: Re: SC - Advice, please!


Saffron is hard to find in a trustworthy source: I've found that Indian

saffron is of uneven quality, Mexican saffron is reliably of low quality,

and Spanish saffron is usually pretty good.


NOTHING tastes like saffron.  That's what is so cool about it.  If you want

the bright yellow color, you can use safflower or tumeric, but you get no

flavor.


Most recipes call for making a "tincture" of the saffron threads.  I grind

them with a touch of salt or sugar (depending upon whether the recipe calls

for savory or sweet), steep them in some hot liquid (water or broth, again

depending upon the recipe) and add the entire tincture after 5-10 minutes.

Saffron makes a powerful yellow/orange color, and using the tincture keeps

my foods from getting tiny yellow speckles where the thread fragments are,

and it makes the flavor permeation uniform.


Be wicked careful: the stain is permanent.  Keep away from clothes, rubber,

wood or other porous surfaces, unless you want them to always be orange.  I

rinse my mortar IMMEDIATELY after grinding saffron in it.  A useful cheat is

to use the bowl of a soup spoon, and use a teaspoon to grind the saffron

threads.  Stainless steel is resistant to the color.  I usually make the

tincture in a Pyrex measuring cup.


Tibor



Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 00:24:13 -0400 (EDT)

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Re: saffron


<< any idea how long this stuff lasts...I just found a small metal tin (Ehlers)

that I bought God knows how long ago >>


Smell it. If it smells like saffron it's good. Taste it . If it tastes like

saffron it's good. Use it. If the results are saffron results/ It's good. :-)


Ras



Date: Sat, 20 Dec 1997 09:09:46 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: SC - saffron


Here is a little history problem which I've come across -- when did

saffron become part of the medieval cook's spice rack?


Crocus sativus originates in India, was used by the Egyptians, Greeks,

Romans, and most of the people of the Middle East.  It may have been

carried into Western Europe by the Roman Legions, but it appears it was

not cultivated or it died out.


Saffron was brought into Spain by the Moslems and was cultivated.  The

Foodbook places this in the 8th Century.  Trager contradicts himself in

The Food Chronology by placing this in 961 C.E.


According to Trager, the Spanish introduced saffron to Northern Italy in

the 15th Century.  This seems a little late to me.


English cultivation of saffron begins with a single bulb smuggled out of

North Africa (probably in the 14th Century.  I'm considering this

apocryphal until I have supporting evidence.)


My personal speculation is the Moslems brought saffron to Spain and had

it under cultivation by the end of the 9th Century.  In the 10th

Century, it was traded (free trade being a major occupation along the

French-Spanish border to the dismay of centuries of governments) into

France and spread across the Holy Roman Empire.   It followed the

Normans into Britain.


Spanish saffron was probably supplemented by trade with the Middle East

during the Crusades.  Italy probably obtained saffron by trade, either

with Spain of the Middle East.  It may be that saffron cultivation was

brought to Northern Italy by the Spanish in the 15th Century, but I

expect that saffron had long been used in Italy before that time.


The source materials I used don't provide much in the way of

documentation, so chasing the facts down may prove interesting.


Bear


Sources:


Day & Stuckey, The Spice Cookbook

Giacosa, A Taste of Ancient Rome

Tannahill, Food in History

Trager, The Foodbook

              The Food Chronology



Date: Sat, 20 Dec 1997 22:31:44 EST

From: LrdRas <LrdRas at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - saffron-VERY LONG


From "FOOD" by Waverly Root.


Source: The stigmas of Crocus sativus (cn. Autumn Crocus)


2.47 acres produces 110 lbs. (50 kg) of flowers.

100,00 flowers produce 11 lbs. (5 kg) fresh stigmas.

11lbs. (5 kg.) fresh stigmas dry down to 2.2 lbs. (1 kg) saffron


1 lb. saffron =300,000-400,000 stigmas M.. S. Atworth); 200,000+ stigmas (R.

Hemphill); 50,000 stigmas (J. M. Jungfleisch); 45,0000 stigmas (L. Lagriffe);

85,000 flowers (elizabeth David); 75,000 flowers ( Snatha Rama Ran); "acres of

plants to produce a small quantity" (Waverly Root). :-)


The bulbs are replanted every 2 yrs.


1 grain (1/547th avoirdupois ounce) colors and flavors a dish for 4-6.


Cultivated from early times ( Crete pre-2nd millenium B.C.E.)

Grew wild in ancient Italy.


Color> a symbol of royalty and taken over by the most refined prostitutes in

history, the hetaerae.


Although it grew wild in Italy , the Romans imported their saffron from

Greece.


Marco Polo did not report it in his travels to the Far East.


Possibly introduced to China by the Mongols in the 13th century C.E.


Disappeared from cookery for several centuries after the collapse of Rome

because of the lack of cultural refine which at that time was restricted to

the Arab world although it still grew wild in Italy and Greece.


France regained saffron from the Moors when they were defeated at Poitiers in

732 .C.E. by Charles Martel. It was introduced to Spain, 200+ yers. later.

During the time that the papcy was sitting in France (late 1300's) saffron was

again reintroduced from Italy and was then extensively imported from the

Middle East via the Crusades. during which time Venice had an official office

of "Officer of Saffron".


England knew saffron as a pharmaceuticalin  the 10th century C.E. and in the

1300's tradition states that a stolen bulb was snuck into England from Tripoli

by a pilgrim in his staff and cultivation began ..


During certain periods of the MA and Renaissance a pouind of saffron would

buy a horse.


Germany probably began cultivating saffron in the 1400's chiefly for dyes.


Paradoxically, the most expensive spice in the world plays a promonate role in

the cuisine of the people most reputed for their simplicity- the Pennslyvania

Dutch where it is found as the most abundantly mentioned spice after pepper in

authentic recipes (e.g. Schwenkfelder Cake and in almost all ORIGINAL:

chicken, noodle, soup sauce and pastry dishes.


<whew!!!!>


Ras



Date: Sat, 20 Dec 1997 23:23:53 EST

From: LrdRas <LrdRas at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - saffron-growing


<< In the mean time, what can you tell me about growing saffron >>


From Fieldbook of Natural History" ; 2nd edition, Palmer/Fowler.


Reproduced most commonly effected by offshoots from corms, though seeds may be

produced and used.


Soil> equal parts sand, garden soil and rotted manure.

To get the best results beds should be dug up at least once every 3 yrs. and

corms seperated and replanted. Plants do best if there is an abundance of

moistureat the time of flowering.


Corms set out in late fall should bloom the following year. Can be planted in

a variety of locations: e.g. along a path, on a bank, in front of shrub

plantings,, almost anyplace they can be left undisturbed after flowering.


NOTE: Seeds produced at ground surface easily overlooked.


Ras



Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 01:41:33 EST

From: DianaFiona <DianaFiona at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - saffron-VERY LONG


<<

Thanks for the info, will add the reference to my list of books to buy.  In

the mean time, what can you tell me about growing it?


I hope such questions will not be considered off topic and flamed.  One of

the main reasons for my recent purchase of Puck's Glen was that, as much as

I love cooking and brewing (and distilling if Brandu ever lets us), I love

the growing of fresh herbs, veggies, meats etc to use in said cooking even

more.  Who knows, in a few years the cooks list may be able to turn to

Puck's Glen for hard to find or quality ingredients if I can learn enough.


In service, Puck

  >>

      Ah, a man after my own heart! Wish my lord shared my love of gardening,

but then, he wishes I shared his love of Ham radio............. ;-) Anyway,

check out the current issue of Kitchen Garden. There is an article there on

saffron's use by the Penn. Dutch community, as Ras mentioned, plus growing

directions and recipes. It is said to be very easy to grow, but growing (and

harvesting!) large enough quantities to use in feasts would be a rather

daunting task........ Not to mention taking a fair chunk of land! Just how big

*is* this glen of yours, anyway? ;-)


     Ldy Diana



Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 13:48:28 -0500

From: Ceridwen <ceridwen at commnections.com>

Subject: Re: SC - RE: saffron growing


    Just a couple bits of trivia on this "thread"... from an article in

Smithsonian Magazine a few years back. The author went to Consuega,

Spain to spend  the saffron harvest season with the growers. His report

was beautifully written and the photos were spectacular.

    The growing and harvesting of saffron has not changed much in

technique in more than 400 years. A moderate climate,rich, well-drained

sandy loam soil, and moderate rainfall are the basic requirements. In

Spain, the corms are planted in rows about 1 foot apart in plots of

about 5000 square feet, which will yield about a pound of the finished

product. They are harvested each year for 4 years, then dug up, sorted

and separated, and replanted in  a new plot. Old plots are allowed to go

fallow for 10 years before replanting. Most plots are rented, rather

than owned by the family.

    In October when the saffron starts to bloom, the harvest begins.

Mostly women and children do the picking and separating . Each plant may

produce up to 10 blooms over the week to 10 day season,so picking must

be done each morning before the blooms start to wilt. Each bloom is

snapped off the stalk into small baskets, When full, they are taken to a

building where the workers carefully pull the 3 or 4 stamens from the

flower. It takes between 70,000 and 100,000 flowers to amass a pound of

dried threads and the fastest workers can only pick out a few ounces a

day. Each worker keeps their pickings in front of them on a plate. At

the end of the day, each persons pickings are divided into four piles,

with the worker being allowed to choose the pile that appears largest

for their wage for the day.  Some even remove the small bit of white

from the bottom of the stamen. The stamens are then "roasted" over a

wood or charcoal fire to remove excess moisture. The illustration shows

a barrel type stove with trays which fit over the top. The screens are

made like cheese boxes, about 6-8" tall, of thin wood with a metal mesh

insert held by a strip of metal banding about 2" up from th bottom. The

threads are watched very carefully during this step, with experience as

the guide as to when they are "done".

     The quality of saffron depends on many things, from the soil

fertility, to weather, to how carefully it is handled during harvest.

    One company has been doing extensive research into "mechanizing" the

whole process, but without a lot of success. They have developed picking

machines, but those bog down in the muddy fields. The separation and

roasting processes have also been developed, with a lot of attention to

the best moisture content for the finished product. The local growers

are not apparently worried about this, as they believe that the best

saffron will always be picked and sorted by hand, and that there will

always be a demand for this attention to quality.

    I found this information fascinating, as I hope you all do. I have

tried without much success to grow saffron here in Florida. the climate

is right, but the squirrels dug up and ate the corms. I did get a

harvest though, with about 6 blooms per plant. Wonderfully different

from purchased threads... much stronger. My Pa-Dutch grandmother had

them in her flower beds, but didn't use the spice. I myself didn't

realize what her "fall crocuses "  were until may years after I moved

away. As she would have said, "we grow too soon old and too late smart".

But I will try it again, and put the corms into little wire mesh boxes

to keep out the critters. Oh, and they come in two colors, purple and

white, the white supposedly having been sacred to one of the Greek Gods.


Happy growing,

Ceridwen



Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 14:50:19 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Mystery Spice


At 12:14 PM -0400 4/10/98, THL Renata wrote:

>And speaking of saffron, there was a packet of bright yellow powder labeled

>saffron. ... It seems a bit *too* yellow to be either, since both saffron and

>safflower red towards reddish. I can't tell by the aroma and I haven't had

>the chance to use it in a recipe yet.


If you can't tell by the aroma, it isn't saffron.


Le Menagier de Paris (14th c.) advises his wife always to buy saffron as

threads rather than ground, because if it is ground you don't know what you

are getting.  It is still good advice.


Elizabeth/Betty Cook



Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 00:20:06 EDT

From: Kallyr <Kallyr at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Oculis Exciditis Porcus Dimidius Facti


<< Turmeric really isn't a substitute for saffron; saffron has quite a

strong taste even in small amounts, which turmeric doesn't.  If you end up

in this position again and can't find saffron at a reasonable price, talk

to us--we're not that far from you.  I don't know of any recipes using

turmeric in Europe pre-1600. >>


However, a period substitution for saffron IS dried calendula flowers.  They

were commonly grown in European herb gardens.


~~Minna Gantz



Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 15:16:19 EDT

From: KKimes1066 <KKimes1066 at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Spices-another source


<< So, what is the right climate?

Anne >>


I grow my own saffron in the cold of Northern Calontir, (USDA zone 5a). I've

had some good luck and some bad, it really depends on when the first snow fall

occurs.


Percival Beaumont Esq-App



Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 16:39:06 EDT

From: DianaFiona <DianaFiona at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Spices-another source


<< I would think that anyone living in an area

conducive to growing saffron crocus should purchase a half dozen bulbs.

With a few years of attentive gardening, they will have multiplied  into

a couple of dozen bulbs, enough for an impressively saffroned dish in SCA

quantities at an important event. Those with the right climate and

like-minded friends could probably grow enough to make their locals

despise any yellow food.


So, what is the right climate?

  >>

     Probably anywhere other crocus varieties grow, which is a fairly wide

area. Pennslyvania, for sure--there was a nice article in the magazine

"KITCHEN GARDEN" a few months back, describing the Penn. Dutch tradition of

growing their own saffron. It gave directions for growing and harvesting the

saffron, plus a few recipes. It sounded like the flowers could be grown close

enough together that a fairly small bed would still yield a significant

harvest of the stigmas. Now if I can just persuade my folks to let me plant

yet another bed in their yard...........  ;-)


          Ldy Diana



Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 16:51:28 EDT

From: DianaFiona <DianaFiona at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Spices-another source


<<

In an earlier post someone mentioned being able to by saffron crocuses at the

nursery.  I would dearly love to try and grow these, but have not seen them in

Missouri.  Our winters do get cold enough to set the bulbs, so if anyone would

happen to know of a mail order source, I would be REALLY interested.


broccan

  >>

     That's easy enough--a number of mail order sources carry them. One of my

favorites is Nichols Garden nursery in Oregon. Their web address is:

http://www.pacificharbor.com/nichols/


     If you don't have web access let me know and I'll get the phone #, etc.

for you.


          Ldy Diana



Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 16:11:42 -0400

From: hlmarkle at ulster.net (Heather L. Markle)

Subject: Re: SC - Growing your own saffron


>My question is, where can one get saffron crocus bulbs or plants?

>

>Renata


They aren't that hard to find. Try Ritcher.com (excellent Herb company) or

Shepard's seeds. (don't have the web page right off)


Catalina



Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 14:40:31 +1000

From: "Sharon Nevin" <nevray at netspace.net.au>

Subject: Re: SC - Growing your own saffron


>The Sunset Western Garden Book shows crocuses (including the Saffron Crocus)

>as being able to grow in all *western* zones. This being the case, I have

>talked my mom out of yet more of her garden space to try this.

>My question is, where can one get saffron crocus bulbs or plants?

>Renata


There is one problem growing crocus bulbs. Its called birds - in particular

sparrows. The little dears love to shread the flowers apart (someone told

me it was for the threads). Especially just before you get there in the

morning. There is not a lot that can be done about this. You can try

attaching strips of stuff to stiks (particularly aluminium foil) to act as

a "scarecrow", try netting (looks hideous, and the poor little things get

caught and either do themselves a damge or the cat gets an extra meal - not

recommended), or race the little blighters to the threads (in which case

you are going to lose). We use to have a barrel cut in half and filled with

soil in which we planted crocus (in the UK). 90% of the time the birds got

to the flowers and shredded them. (shredded as in little pieces of purple

petals EVERYWHERE)


I don't know if this applies to one species of croci or all (and I don't

know what kind of croci we were growing either).


Sharon Nevin



Date: Mon, 18 May 1998 07:40:39 EDT

From: WOLFMOMSCA <WOLFMOMSCA at aol.com>

Subject: SC - Saffron Crocus Source


I got my new issue of The Herb Companion in the mail recently, and found a

letter regarding the growing of saffron crocus.  The staff at the magazine has

found a source for saffron crocus bulbs, which are planted in the fall.  Here

it is:


McClure and Zimmerman

PO Box 368

Friesland, WI 53935-0368

Phone: 920-326-4220

Fax: 800-692-5864


They say their catalog is free.


Happy Herbing!

Wolfmother



Date: Tue, 02 Mar 1999 18:45:11 -0600

From: Tim Weitzel & Wendy Robertson <timwendy at avalon.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Growing saffron


>75,000 flowers to make a pound, and no it would not be a small amount of

>land or care.  Crocus are fussy and would not like English weather very

>much, damp and cold.  They would grow and you could grow them but 75,000

>is a lot.

>

>Aibhilin


That was definitely the impression I had. The reason I ask is because in

Thomas Tusser's "Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry" (first published in

1557) the author states in the Abstract for August:


3.      Pare saffon plot,

Forget it not.

His dwelling make trim,

Look shortly for him.

When harvest is gone,

Then saffron comes on.

4.      A little of ground,

Brings saffron a pound.

The plea sure is fine,

The profit is thine.

Keep colour in drying,

Well used, worth buying.


The full version of August gives more information, but I am not

sufficiently well versed in 16th century agricultural practices to answer

my own questions:


3.      Pare saffron between the two St. Mary's days [July 22 and August 15],

Or set, or go shift it, though knoweth the ways.

What year shall I do it, more profit to yield?

The fourth in the garden, the third in the field.


4.      In having but forty foot, workmanly dight,

Take saffron enough for a lord and a knight.

All winter time after, as practice doth teach,

What plot have yet better for linen to bleach?


I'm assuming the forty foot is describing the plot of land. 40 by what? If

the plot is also used for linen bleaching, it can't be too small.


Oh, in case it matters, Tusser was from East Anglia (the hamlet of Katwade

[Catiwade] in the parish of Brantham, in Samford Hundred, Suffolk, near the

river Stour). Sorry I didn't include the quotations in the original post --

I didn't have them with me (and hadn't read the full version, having just

recently read the abstract).


Did they pick more of the saffron, not just very tiny bit used for proper

pure [modern definition] saffron?


Ailene / Wendy



Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 01:05:23 -0500

From: Leslie Watson <leslie.watson at sympatico.ca>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Growing saffron


Tim Weitzel & Wendy Robertson wrote:

> Did they pick more of the saffron, not just very tiny bit used for proper

> pure [modern definition] saffron?


They just took the Stigmas not many per flower, I believe the bulbs are

expensive.  You plant them in the fall according to the weather in your

area.  I don't know where you live,  I live in Ontario, so we plant

bulbs at the end do Septmeber but before the frost.  There is Saflower

which don't really look like saffron stigma, but colours like it.  You

use the whole flower there.  I will see what I have in the way of other

sources I know I have a copy of several other period horitculture books

I will look this up and get you some more info.  Sor far this has  all

been from memory so it could be inaccurate.


Aihbilin



Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 21:34:01 EST

From: <LrdRas at aol.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Growing saffron


timwendy at avalon.net writes:

<< The full version of August gives more information, but I am not

sufficiently well versed in 16th century agricultural practices to answer

my own questions: >>


Saffron crocus bulbs can be planted fairly close together, 4 inches apart.

Some period pictures of cottage and manor gradens (which I assume are kitchen

gardens) clearly show a system of raised beds. A theoretical raised bed 5 feet

wide by 15 feet long would be enough space to plant approx. 1040 bulbs. 4 2/3

beds this size would provide enough saffron threads to make 1 oz saffron.

Approximately 75 beds this size or a piece of ground egual to 5625 sq. feet

would be needed to produce 1 lb. of saffron. Simply put 1/8 of a modern acre

could theoretically produce 1 lb. of saffron if you assume a 4 inch space

all around between bulbs.


Ras



Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 22:41:54 EST

From: <SNSpies at aol.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Growing saffron


<< Crocus are fussy and would not like English weather very

much, damp and cold. >>


They did grow them for awhile in Saffron Walden in England.


Ingvild/Nancy



Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 22:31:41 -0700

From: <nikkijim at montana.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Growing saffron


Ailene ingen Aedain asked:

> How much saffron would you need to raise in order to get a pound? Or more

> specifically, would a 16th century Englishman have considered it a small

> amount of land?


Saffron are the yellow-orange stigmas from a small purple crocus

(the crocus sativus).  There are only three stigmas per flower  and

it takes approximately 14,000 of them for each ounce.  Doing the

math...that equals 4,666 flowers or so for each ounce.  Carrying

that forward into a pound, you would need to raise, at an absolute

minimum, 149,312 plants in order to realize a minimum potential

harvest of 1 pound.  These figures are at current rates of agriculture

and growth capability.  I think it would be unreasonable for a 16th

Century grower to expect 100% of the crops.  In average growing

(figuring approximately 3" square for each mature plant - maybe a

little generous) you could get a maximum of 174,000 plants in one

acre (again with perfect conditions).  Hence, it would probably take

an absolute minimum of 2 acres, more likely 5 acres to grow a

pound of saffron.


It would follow that a great Lord or Noble of the 16th century would

not be really impressed with 5 acres of land (they dealt with much

larger holdings) however, a general member of the populace would

probably be quite impressed with a five acre lot.   But, we are

talking real estate here, so then - as now...LOCATION LOCATION

LOCATION!!  :o)


Lady Grania McNish of Eagle's Eyre



Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 18:40:02 -0700

From: "Wanda Pease" <wandapease at bigfoot.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Questions


From: "Butterfield, Margaret" <msbutterfield at mail.aacc.cc.md.us>

><I grow my own.  Get the bulbs from a place in Texas

>    Where do you get this?  Is it possible to be grown in a container?

>    (I live in an apartment.)

> Orlaith


Saffron crocus are an autumn crocus that will grow here in the US.

There was a story in Kitchen Garden Magazine about how the Pennsylvania

Dutch had a yellow rice dish that was prepared using home grown saffron

from crocus beds specially planted near the house.  Evidently there were

special little lidded cups made to hold the pistoles.  I've found the

specific bulbs in a couple of catalogs.  You would need several pots to

get enough saffron for more than one dish, but at least you would have

some pretty flowers!


Regina



Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 22:55:35 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Saffron


> I could be totally wrong about this, but for some reason I have the name

> "crocus sativus" lodged in my head. Wanna give it a shot?

>

> Adamantius


Bang on.  As a cute little side note, apparently the seeds are used to make

a gout remedy known as colchicine.


Bear



Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 21:45:59 -0700

From: "David Dendy" <ddendy at silk.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Saffron


>> Bang on.  As a cute little side note, apparently the seeds are used to make

>> a gout remedy known as colchicine.


I hate to be pedantic, but this is incorrect. Colchicine is "a yellow,

crystalline alkaloid extracted from the seeds and corm of *Colchicum

autumnale*."  This plant is meadow saffron, also known as Autumn Crocus (if

I recall correctly). The uninformed often confuse colchicum with saffron

crocus, but you certainly don't want to be using its stigmas as saffron,

since they are to a degree poisonous. If you are thinking of planting

saffron crocus (the bulbs are not that hard to find, at least in Canada -- I

get them at the local garden centre), make sure you specify saffron crocus

and confirm with the botanical name, *crocus sativus*.


Francesco Sirene



Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 09:27:09 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Saffron-WARNING


TerryD at Health.State.OK.US writes:

<< As a cute little side note, .....<snip>.....

Bear >>


There are several species of autumn crocus. The crocus used to make

colchicine is different than the saffron crocus!!!!. Colchicum autumnale is

most commonly known as autumn crocus, but in various regions it is known as

naked-ladies, colchicum, and meadow saffron. It should be noted that it's not

a crocus, and it's not saffron, and should definitely not be used in place of

saffron in cooking because eating any part of this plant can kill you.


The autumn crocus is native to Europe but has been introduced to Canada and

the U.S., where it is both grown in gardens and lives as a wild escapee in

meadows and woodlands. It's a perennial herb in the lily family (Liliaceae)

which grows from a corm (a solid bulb) that can unfortunately be mistaken for

a wild onion. The rapierlike leaves grow about a foot high, and in the early

fall one or two leafless stalks sprout from the corm; each stalk produces a

single white-to-purplish-pink flower that resembles a crocus.


The extreme toxicity of this plant has been known since the times of ancient

Greece, but in the fifth century, herbalists in the Byzantine Empire

discovered it could be used to treat rheumatism and arthritis, and the Arabs

began to use it for gout. The useful active ingredient in the plant is an

alkaloid called colchicine, which is still used to treat gout and which has

anticancer properties.


The colchicine crocus is highly poisonous and none of it's parts should be

consumed. The powerful chemical is used to induce genetic mutation in plant

breeding and will do the same thing with human genes. It is also used for

cancer research and treatment.


Quote- "Colchicine has proven to have a fairly narrow range of effectiveness

as a chemotherapy agent, so its only FDA-approved use is to treat gout.

Colchicine also causes teratogenic birth defects in lab animals, and so

pregnant women with gout should not use colchicine-containing drugs.


Colchicine poisoning resembles arsenic poisoning; the symptoms (which,

because it is a mitotic poison, occur 2 to 5 hours after the toxic dose has

been ingested) include burning in the mouth and throat, diarrhea, stomach

pain, vomiting, and kidney failure.   Death from respiratory failure often

follows. A specific antidote doesn't exist, Less than than two grams of the

seeds is enough to kill a child.


Colchicine, a water-soluble alkaloid found in the autumn crocus, blocks or

suppresses cell division by inhibiting mitosis, the division of a cell's

nucleus. Specifically, it inhibits the development of spindles as the nuclei

are dividing. Normally, the cell would use its spindle fibers to line up its

chromosomes, make a copy of them, and divide into two new cells with each

daughter cell having a single set of chromosomes. With colchicine present,

the spindle fibers don't form, and so the cell can't move its chromosomes

around. The cell may end up copying some or all of the chromosomes anyway,

but can't parcel them out into new cells, and so it never divides".-

(Budavari, Susan, ed. 1989. The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals,

Drugs and Biologicals. Rahway, NJ, Merck & Co.)


When ordering saffron crocuses make sure to spicifically state that you want

saffron crocuses and not just any fall blooming crocuses



Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 07:01:51 -0400

From: "Butterfield, Margaret" <msbutterfield at mail.aacc.cc.md.us>

Subject: RE: SC - Saffron


Saffron crocus is a fall bloomer.  It looks like a regular crocus except it

has three long, very red "strings" hanging out of it.  The blooms should be

plucked the first day they come out and the saffron threads should be

carefully removed and set to dry. One plant can bloom 4 to 5 times a

season.  I have tried removing the saffron threads while leaving the bloom

on the plant and ended up breaking off the threads and the plant was

satisfied that it did it's job so never made another bloom that season.



Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 00:36:45 -0400

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <harper at idt.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Spanish salmon recipe (was: Spanish noodles)


And it came to pass on 3 Oct 99,, that Stefan li Rous wrote:

> Do late-period Spanish recipes show a greater use of saffron than

> elsewhere?


Not that I've noticed. Saffron appears in many Spanish recipes; but

then again, it appears in many French and Anglo-Norman recipes, too.


> Since saffron was grown in Spain, and I presume was cheaper

> there, perhaps it was used in greater quantity there?


I believe that saffron was also grown in England in period.  Isn't that how

the town of Saffron Waldron got its name?


> Or are the amounts unknown and simply up to the recipe interpreter?


There are no amounts given for spices in this particular recipe, nor in

most of the Spanish recipes I have seen.  A handful of recipes call for

"mucho azafran" (a lot of saffron), but most do not seem to suggest a

large quantity.


Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)



Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 09:40:05 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Spanish salmon recipe (was: Spanish noodles)


<<  Or are the amounts unknown and simply up to the recipe interpreter? >>


More or less, yes. A good rule of thumb, IMO, is to use 1 strand per person.

For example, if you are creating a recipe for 6 people use 6 strands. Your

milage may very with this system but it seems to work for most recipes.


Ras



Date: Thu, 02 Aug 2001 11:39:20 -0400

From: "Philip W. Troy & Susan Troy" <troy at asan.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fw: [MR] Red saffron source


Maggie MacDonald wrote:

> So how do you tell, by looking, the difference between saffron and

> safflower?


Safflower is less red, and looks like little dried petals or whole

flowers, not the [theoretically] exclusively stamen threads that saffron

consists of. And telling me I cannot end a sentence with a preposition

is an imposition up with which I shall not put. Safflower also hasn't

got a strong aroma like saffron's.


Adamantius



Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2001 08:59:44 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Spice Mixes


You might want to read the advice posted at

http://www.saffroninfo.com/. Ellen Szita is

regarded as the world authority on the uses of saffron.

I find that you should make sure that you get

saffron threads and not ground or powdered. I keep

mine frozen in the freezer in airtight containers.


Johnnae llyn Lewis Johnna Holloway


bill mayfield wrote:

Tried the Fine Poudre mix from The Medieval Kitchen

(pg 221)  both with and without the Saffron.....

I wasnt able to tell a difference in taste.

So this leads me to this queston......In a spice

mix that calls for Saffron in addition to other

spices or herbs  does saffron get overpowered easily

or is it a colorant? Tried some saffron by its self

and it seemed very subtle and something that would

be hidden easily. or am I way of base? Aethelwulf



From: "Olwen the Odd" <olwentheodd at hotmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Spice Mixes

Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2001 16:00:19 +0000


>Morocco.  It is a deep, rich red with a haunting almost chemical like

>aroma.  I can describe it better than that except to say that it

>stains the fingers when a single stamen is crushed between my fingers.

>Maybe that's the sign of freshness but probably not.  I dunno...

>

>Drakey.


That would be what happens when you pick it so I would assume it is very

fresh.  Sometimes, almost always with the ground stuff, they use other parts

of the crocus, actually the stamen which will do the same thing but not as

red in colour, to mix in with the saffron threads (which are NOT the

stamen).


Olwen



Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 20:48:10 -0500

From: "Phlip" <phlip at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Novice Saffon User

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


>> I am now the lucky owner of 1 gram ofsaffron threads (yay!!) and am

>> at a loss with where to start or what to do with it. I've never used

>> saffron before (always stayed away from it - spendy!) and would

>> appreciate any tips or a good beginner recipe for it (mind you, a

>> good "example of saffron in a dish - I'm not a novice cook ;-) )

>>

>> Help? :-D


Seems to me the simplest thing would be saffron rice. Rather than try the

more complicared recipes, where you need to discount the flavors of the

other ingredients, you should have a prtty good idea what rice tastes like

;-) and thus be able to judge what its flavor does to a dish, as well as

its color intensity. I tend to have several "standard" recipes that I will

try just for seeing what an unfamiliar spice will do to the flavor.


Saffron Rice


1 c. rice

2 c. water and tablespoon chicken base OR

2 c. chicken stock

6-12 saffron threads

tablespoon lemon juice


Bring stock or water and chicken base to boil w/saffron and lemon juice.

Dump in rice, turn down heat to low, cover and let cok until done.

Stir to even color/flavor and serve.


You may be using a different rice that requires more or less liquid- go with

that amount. The important thing is to get the saffron hot and wet before

adding the rice, so it permeates the dish.


Saint Phlip,

CoDoLDS



Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2003 12:04:32 -0500 (EST)

From: <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fideos, was Novice Saffron User

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


> Stefan wrote:

>> Yes, I believe that saffron was also used as a cloth dye by the

>> medieval Europeans as well. I also suspect that Master Cariadoc was

>> making a joke, since he doesn't like saffron in his food.

>

> Saffron was very expensive in Medieval Europe and it does not make a

> very fast dye. I don't think it was used a great deal in Europe as a

> cloth dye. It was not used much in the Middle East as a cloth dye,

> because it isn't fast.


When I did my research for the egg-dyeing project, I realized that saffron

was mentioned extensively as a fabric dye in Europe, however, that may

simply be the result of the color being called saffron (the Irish shirts

that are saffron-colored are an example).


One of the things I most regret about having a European persona is the

relative absence of tumeric as a dye in Europe. I love the tumeric dye

colors and it's both easy and fast... however, it was the same price as

saffron in Europe and so wasn't often imported (according to Dalby,

_Dangerous Tastes_)


To insert a plug for one of my friends, Mistress Anne Liese, she has a

very nice website that includes a number of dyestuff materials:

http://fibers.destinyslobster.com/Dyeing/dyehistory.htm


-- Pani Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net



Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2003 09:05:34 -0800

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <dailleurs at liripipe.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Novice Saffron User

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Hey all from Anne-Marie


On maximizing Saffrons effect:


When I make my darioles, or any dish that I want to have flavor and am

not so focused on keeping the threads distinct, I'll take my pinch and

put it in a cup with a bit of hot water or broth or wine (whatever the

recipe is using) and sit down for 15-20 minutes, watch some TV and moosh

them with a spoon. The threads will get lighter colored and the liquid

becomes a glorious shade of red-orange.


For a stew or other dish that is going to simmer or boil for a good long

while, I don't worry about it so much as the threads will release their

saffronny goodness all on their own without my help.


On the reverse side, of course, if you're interested in keeping distinct

threads with their flavor isolated (can be a cool effect), just toss

them in with a minimum of stirring.


I've also found the freshness of the saffron to be a major variable. If

the stuff is the old shriveled stuff you get from the back shelf of most

grocery stores (ie low turnover), you need a lot more vs the stuff I get

from Tony at WorldSpice or the Spanish Table here in Seattle which is

positively damp still its so fresh...I find I often only need five or

six threads of juicy stuff vs a much larger quantity of the older stuff.

I never use the pre-powdered stuff...its oomph seems pretty much gone by

the time it gets to the store.


--AM



Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2004 21:09:43 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Spices was licorice,

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


> IIRC, the refernces I saw for saffron being grown in England were not

> on-line or in a cooking source, but in an upper-division class on the

> Economy of England in the 14th and 15th c. The texts however are on a

> bookshelf some 180 miles away, as usual.

> YMMV.

>

> L'ainie


Of course Saffron  was grown in England---------

hence Saffron Waldron---

http://www.saffronshops.com/history/index.shtml


If one examines William Harrison's Description of England

one will find that chapter VIII of Book III is titled:

"Of Our Saffron and the Dressing Thereof." Harrison wrote

his accounts for Holinshed's 16th century Chronicles of England.

(The Dover edition of Harrison is very reasonably priced for those

that still buy books.)


Johnnae llyn Lewis



Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2004 22:07:31 -0500

From: "vicki shaw" <vhsjvs at gis.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Spices was licorice,

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorraorg>


Funny [saffron] should come up because I read a historical novel just a few

months ago that takes place after 1066 and around the time Rufus' hunting

[accident] in which a man is sold some seeds to grow saffron with the

promise it will be the harvest of the future, and then earlier today when I

tried to save face by referencing my book on spices, I read that " A dozen

miles south southeast of Cambridge is one of the truly idyllic towns in

Essex:  Saffron Walden........On the town's shield are three saffron

flowers, due - like its name - to the fact that saffron has been cultivated

there since the fourteenth Century."  This contradicts the story in th

novel I read, but it is still interesting.  The chapter on saffron goes on

to say that the crocuses were brought to England by a pilgrim returning from

the Holy Land who had stolen them in Tripolis....


Angharad ferch Iorwerth; MKA Vicki Shaw

Barony Byond the Mountain

East Kingdom



Date: Fri, 04 Jan 1980 10:27:58 +0200

From: Jessica Tiffin <melisant at iafrica.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Spices was licorice

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


At 11:23 PM 2/23/04 -0600, Ranvaig wrote:

> And Saffron IS native to Europe.  There are pictures of it on the

> walls of Knossos.


Andrew Dalby's "Dangerous Tastes" suggests that its origin is probably in

Asia Minor, although it was known very early on in Europe - he cites a

mention in the Iliad and in wall-paintings in Akrotiri in the Aegean

islands before the eruption of Santorini.  He also suggests it was know in

Iran in "very ancient times", and reached Kashmir anywhere between the 5th

century BC and the 3rd century AD. Spain, of course, is now the producer

of the highest-quality saffron.


Weird detail -  he mentions a Cretan wall-painting which suggests monkeys

might have been trained to pick the crocuses!


JdH


Jehanne de Huguenin (Jessica Tiffin) * Drachenwald Kingdom Chronicler

Shire of Adamastor, Cape Town, South Africa



Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 07:01:16 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Saffron in Ireland

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


> I found references connecting Saffron in Cornwall to the Phoenicians,

> but I'm not sure there is actual proof of this.

>

> Our group plays Ireland circa 1004, so if it was brought by the

> Normans, that is too late for us.

>

> Ranvaig


It is unprovable.  If saffron was imported in the Bronze Age tin trade, I

doubt that the plants were traded and they were being cultivated there, the

Romans would have noted it.


The best evidence is the Romans introduced the plant to Britian and that it

fell into disuse and died out until reintroduced in the early Medieval

period.


Bear



Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 09:21:03 -0400

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Saffron in Ireland

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


> Where is saffron native, and when did it come to Ireland? A friend

> was told that saffron was from India, was brought to Ireland by the

> Crusaders.  Since it was known in Minoan Crete, and has a long

> history in Spain, I would guess that it has a much longer history in

> Ireland than this.


Saffron is native to the Eastern mediterranean, but it was a common trade

import for most of period, including Roman times. Saffron Walden,

according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, took on it's name in the mid

14th century with the introduction of Saffron growing in that area.


According to the EB:

" In early times, however, the chief seat of cultivation was in Cilicia,

in Asia Minor. It was cultivated by the Arabs in Spain about 961 and is

mentioned in an English leechbook, or healing manual, of the 10th century

but may have disappeared from western Europe until reintroduced by the

crusaders."


The first mention of the word saffron cited by the Oxford English

Dictionary is " c1200 Trin. Coll. Hom. 163 Hire winpel wit oer maked eleu

mid saffran. "


So, I would say that though saffron was not native to Ireland or grown

there, there's a good chance it was in use there.

--

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net



Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 08:11:03 -0700

From: Susan Fox-Davis <selene at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Saffron in Ireland

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Terry Decker wrote:

> IIRC, McClintock in Old Irish and Highland Dress mentions saffron dyes in

> relation to Irish clothing from about the 15th Century, but it has been

> several years since I casual read the book nad my memory may be faulty.

>

> Bear


I recalled this too, something about "saffron-dyed leine brought

strength to the limbs," so I hit Google and got the 1911 Encyclopedia,

which says, in part:


     It was, however, mainly used as a dye. It was a royal color in early

     Greek times, though afterwards, perhaps from its abundant use in the

     baths and as a scented salve, it was especially appropriated by the

     hetairae. In ancient Ireland a kings mantle was dyed with saffron,

     and even down to the 17th century the lein-croich, or saffron-dyed

     shirt, was worn by persons of rank in the Hebrides. In medieval

     illumination it furnished, as a glaze uon burnished tinfoil, a cheap

     and effective substitute for gold. The sacred spot on the forehead

     of a Hindu pundit is also partly composed of it. Its main use in

     England was to color pastry and confectionery, and it is stifi used

     for this purpose in some parts of the country (notably Cornwall).


Some more remarks on Saffron, including some excerpts from letters from

Henry VIII forbidding native Irish customs, appear at:

http://www.reconstructinghistory.com/irish/saffron.html


Selene Colfox



Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 11:51:21 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Saffron in Ireland

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Saffron was and can be grown in England. Saffron Walden and Cornwall grew saffron at various times. There's no reason it couldn't have been grown in Ireland as regards climate. [Ireland grows a surprising number of almost  tropical plants in gardens, including a number not grown in England.]

But did they? Is it saffron the plant or saffron the color? Did they use another

plants or plants to achieve the "saffron" yellow color?


This seems to be the question and that's been a bone of contention for

quite some time among various historians and Irish scholars and groups

like the SCA.


http://www.reconstructinghistory.com/irish/saffrondye.html   suggests they used

another plant  that produced a yellow saffron color.

http://www.reconstructinghistory.com/irish/saffron.html is along these

lines.


Googling  produces   1,530 for saffron yellow

<http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&;oi=dict&q=http://dictionary.reference.com/search%3Fq%3Dsaffron%2Byellow%26r%3D67>;

color

<http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&;oi=dict&q=http://dictionary.reference.com/search%3Fq%3Dcolor%26r%3D67>;

ireland

<http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&;oi=dict&q=http://dictionary.reference.com/search%3Fq%3Direland%26r%3D67>;


I don't know that we are going to produce a definative answer or if

there is one.


Johnnae llyn Lewis



Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2006 10:01:13 +1300

From: Adele de Maisieres <ladyadele at paradise.net.nz>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] And Speaking of Sweets...

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


SilverR0se at aol.com wrote:

> Saffron needs to bloom in hot liquid if not little threads are to be left in

> the final product. Will adding a small amount of hot water affect the final

> product? Should I melt a little of the butter and bloom the saffron in that?

> How will melted butter affect the end result?


Saffron colour is soluble in water or alcohol, but not particularly so

in fat.  So if you want a good colour, you will probably have to use a

little hot water, vinegar (extracts the colour really well), or (my

preference) a spoonful of warm brandy.  I suggest putting the saffron to

soak at least two hours before you want to start baking.  A _small_

amount of added liquid shouldn't have much effect on your shortbread.

--

Adele de Maisieres



Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2006 14:28:31 -0700

From: Maggie MacDonald <maggie5 at cox.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] And Speaking of Sweets...

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


The persian/middle eastern method is to grind the saffron with a little

sugar (or salt), then let it bloom in hot water for a while before

use.  That way theres no threads to get stuck in things to begin with.


Maggie



Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2007 08:11:59 -0800 (PST)

From: Fergus Stout <bullheaded67 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Sca-cooks Digest, Vol 11, Issue 18

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org


How hard is saffron to grow?


Siobhan

__________


Extremely hard  - it is sterile flower and the bulbs must be dug up  

and replanted each season. Each flower has 3 stamen - it is these  

which we call saffron. These must be harvested by hand, sorted and  

graded.  Most saffron production is around the Mediterranean with a  

growing business in India.


Fergus



Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2007 11:26:10 -0500

From: "Nick Sasso" <grizly at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] grow your own spices? (was) Onion Juice - and

Saffronmeasurements

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


-----Original Message-----

< < < How hard is saffron to grow?


Siobhan  > > > > >


Grow?  Not difficult at all depending on your zone.  It's a bubl.  Now,

protecting it from the furry tailed little b at stards that will eat it in my

yard is another thing.  Growing enough to make it worth your while may not

be so hard, but at 3-4 threads per blossom, tops, quantity is  

something to think about too.


niccolo difrancesco



Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2007 11:28:28 -0500

From: ranvaig at columbus.rr.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] grow your own spices? (was) Onion Juice - and

Saffron measurements

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


> How hard is saffron to grow?


I've read that saffron isn't hard to grow in temperate climates.

But.. it only grows from bulbs not from seed.  If it is happy they

will multiply, but buying enough bulbs to have saffron for feast this

year, isn't going to be an economic solution.


Buying a few dozen and raising a patch for your kitchen's use is

possible. A dozen bulbs might give you enough saffron for a pot of

rice this year, and hopefully two pots next year, and so on.  I did

some research on this a few years back, but we moved before I could

plant any.


The handwork harvesting the saffron is why it is so expensive.

Saffron is the stamens of the specific type of crocus flower, and

each flower only has a few stamens.  Each flower has to be picked,

and the saffron separated.


Ranvaig



Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2007 09:14:15 -0500

From: "Barbara Benson" <voxeight at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] grow your own spices? (was) Onion Juice - and

Saffron measurements

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


> How hard is saffron to grow?

>

> Siobhan


Others have already said what I was going to - that it isn't too hard

to grow depending on your zone. But hopefully I have something useful

to add, a link to someone who sells the bulbs:


http://www.nicholsgardennursery.com/index.htm


They also sell hops, garlic and all kinds of herbs and such. It is a

really nifty site.


Serena da Riva



Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 14:17:43 -0600 (CST)

From: "Pixel, Goddess and Queen" <pixel at hundred-acre-wood.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] saffron, continued (poison vs editable)

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


> I was recently told that there are some of the same named bulbs  

> that are poisonous that I have to make sure to get the editable

> ones when I go to plant them. Just thought I would pass that FYI  

> along :)

>

> Siobhan


Yes. "Autumn Crocus" is used both to refer to the saffron crocus (Crocus

sativa/us) and members of the Colchicum genus. Colchicums are poisonous,

Crocus sativa is not.


The page on saffron that the Brooklyn Botanical Garden has up says  

that a Colchicum has six stamens while a Crocus only has three:

http://www.bbg.org/gar2/topics/plants/2001fa_crocus.html


And they have a few more links as to where to get bulbs, too.


Margaret FitzWilliam



Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2007 08:12:51 -0800

From: Susan Fox <selene at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OOP Flavored Short Bread

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


A teaspoon or two of hot water should be OK, there's probably more water

than that in regular US supermarket butter [not Euro butter, not ghee].

Bloom the strands in a shot of the hot, mix like crazy into the creamed

butter and sugar, then proceed with the flour.


silverr0se at aol.com wrote:

> I am experimenting with adding flavors to short bread and have a  

> quandry that a more experienced baker (and dessert eater) may know  

> the answer to.

>

> I would like to add saffron to the short bread but I am wondering  

> how to incorporate it, since saffron needs to bloom in hot liquid.  

> But there is no liquid, hot or otherwise, in short bread. I've  

> thought about blooming it in a very small amount of hot water and  

> adding it in, or else melting a little bit of the butter and adding  

> it that way. But I don't know what these methods might do to the  

> finished product and I don't want to waste my expensive saffron if  

> I don't need to.

>

> What to you think?

>

> Renata



Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2007 10:26:59 -0800

From: "Laura C. Minnick" <lcm at jeffnet.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OOP Flavored Short Bread

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


> I would like to add saffron to the short bread but I am wondering

> how to incorporate it, since saffron needs to bloom in hot liquid.

> But there is no liquid, hot or otherwise, in short bread. I've

> thought about blooming it in a very small amount of hot water and

> adding it in, or else melting a little bit of the butter and adding

> it that way. But I don't know what these methods might do to the

> finished product and I don't want to waste my expensive saffron if I

> don't need to.


I have had reasonably good success by grinding the saffron finely

with another ingredient- usually either salt or sugar. Not quite the

same as putting it in hot liquid, but does diffuse the flavor a bit

better. Of course, I really like saffron, and tend to use a fair

amount, unlike those who believe that it is a scribal error. :-D


'Lainie



Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2007 14:07:46 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OOP Flavored Short Bread

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


A couple teaspoons to a tablespoon of water shouldn't do much to the

texture.  Steep the saffron in the hot water and then let it cool.  Add the

saffron water to sugar and butter when you cream it.


If you use butter to extract the saffron, when you finish, put the melted

butter into the refrigerator to cool it down and solidify it.  Break it up

and add it to the butter and sugar in the mixture.


Bear


> I would like to add saffron to the short bread but I am wondering how to

> incorporate it, since saffron needs to bloom in hot liquid. But there is

> no liquid, hot or otherwise, in short bread. I've thought about blooming

> it in a very small amount of hot water and adding it in, or else melting a

> little bit of the butter and adding it that way. But I don't know what

> these methods might do to the finished product and I don't want to  

> waste my expensive saffron if I don't need to.

>

> What to you think?

>

> Renata



Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2007 15:59:15 -0500

From: "Nick Sasso" <grizly at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OOP Flavored Short Bread

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


Saffron's essentials are warm water soluable rather than fat soluable.

Ergo, the butter won't get the dissolving and infusion that you want.


niccolo difrancesco



Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2007 17:15:59 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OOP Flavored Short Bread

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


It may not be optimal but it does work. And it can be better than

changing the chemistry of the dough by adding water. A number of the 18th century shortbread recipes call for melted butter.


Johnnae


Nick Sasso wrote:

> Saffron's essentials are warm water soluable rather than fat soluable.

> Ergo, the butter won't get the dissolving and infusion that you want.

>

> niccolo difrancesco



Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 14:41:28 -0600

From: Susan Lin <susanrlin at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Saffron


I don't know all the ins and outs but coupe means cut. It is usually

the middle expensive. It means that the yellow tips have been cut off

leaving only the red. There is the Kashmir that is all red (the most

expensive as far as I know) then the coupe and then there is the lower

grade that still has the yellow. As for the difference in geographical

regions I'd have to defer to someone else.


On 10/30/09, Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com> wrote:

> Spanish Coupe - $12.75/gram

> Spanish Mancha - $10.75/gram, $139.00/ounce


What is the difference between these two? Are "Coupe" and "Mancha"

different regions in Spain? Or are these referring to different grades

of saffron?


I saw a mention earlier of Iranian vs. Spanish saffron. How are these

different? Is there some reason, other than political ones, that I

might one type instead of the other?


  Stefan



Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 17:08:15 -0400

From: Craig Daniel <teucer at pobox.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Saffron


On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 4:24 PM, Stefan li Rous

<StefanliRous at austin.rr.com> wrote:

> Spanish Coupe - $12.75/gram

> Spanish Mancha - $10.75/gram, $139.00/ounce


What is the difference between these two? Are "Coupe" and "Mancha" different

regions in Spain? Or are these referring to different grades of saffron?

-------


"Coupe" is not a Spanish word or place name, but is from the French

for "cut" and refers to the processing.


"Mancha" means "stain," but it's also a place name - "La Mancha" is a

region in central Spain, which gives its name to queso manchego

("cheese from La Mancha") and, of course, El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don

Quijote de La Mancha.


I'm not sure which meaning is meant in the context of saffron; both

seem plausible, since saffron stains things yellow but a lot of it

also comes from central Spain.


- Jaume



Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 16:38:48 -0700

From: David Walddon <david at vastrepast.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Saffron


<<< I saw a mention earlier of Iranian vs. Spanish saffron. How are these

different? Is there some reason, other than political ones, that I

might one type instead of the other?


  Stefan >>>


They are also graded on color as well.

The Kashmir/Iranian seems to start at a higher color grade than the Spanish.

Www.saffron.com has a good explanation of the different grades etc.


Eduardo



Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2011 14:49:38 -0700

From: David Walddon <david at vastrepast.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Saffron Query


The best price and quality is saffron.com.

That is where I usually buy and it is around $80 an ounce but it fluctuates.

Eduardo


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