Local Utah Saffron

First things first!  We had a great time on KUTV channel 2’s Fresh Living today!  Thank you!

Tomorrow we’ll be on with Big Buddah and Fox 13 for the morning news, and Wednesday we’re visiting with the folks from KSL!  It’s a busy media week, and means I have to be up with the raspberries at 5 am!  I may die.  🙂

Anyway…we have more exciting things to talk about.  Mainly…Saffron!

Saffron is a very cool little spice, renown for being the most expensive spice (by weight) in the world.  Saffron comes from the crocus flower and each flower will give two to three strands and that’s about it.  So to get up to even an ounce of saffron you are looking at harvesting a LOT of flowers which explains some of the price per pound issues.  The flavor of saffron is a little musty and a must in many Spanish influenced and Indian influenced foods.  It also gives many foods a bright yellow color as in saffron rices and curries.

One of the cool things that Bunneh and I discovered a few years ago was that saffron grows well in Utah.  However…it is hard to get the bulbs and a bit expensive, as well as requiring a little more garden prep than we’ve had time for.  Not for a lack of desire, but life just keeps getting in the way.  So we’ve had desire for local saffron, but been left picking it up a bit at a time at local specialty shops.

Knowing all of this imagine my surprise when I found a booth at the SLC Downtown Farmer’s Market selling locally grown saffron!  I met the most wonderful older gentleman who explained that this was a retirement project for he and his wife.  They grow the flowers, harvest the saffron and sell it at markets.  His wife even comes up with recipes which they hand out with each purchase!  And the price…amazing…$5.00 for a half ounce container of beautiful whole strands.  The very first day Bunneh made a batch of Saffron rice for us, borrowing the recipe from Alton Brown, and it was amazing.  The only problem we had was that the saffron was so fresh that the flavor got much stronger in the following days and we got to the point the rice was just too strong, but that’s easily corrected in the future.

saffron rice

Are you a saffron lover? Any suggestions for other recipes we should try?

And if you’re in Utah, have you seen the Saffron man!?!  If not get thee to the Farmer’s Market!




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