Proper use of saffron is much easier than you think. However, we have to dispel some myths and clichés. Whole filaments should never be added, for example, directly into the pot. Nor should spice be used at the beginning of cooking.
We would like to give you some tips to get the maximum yield from the precious red gold filaments.
With saffron in powder, then it will be even easier.
Product in filaments will surely give greater guarantee of purity. Few companies do not mix powder with poorer varieties of saffron or even with turmeric or artificial colors to increase their profits. In addition, filaments guarantee a better performance at organoleptic level since as soon as it is pulverized saffron loses its properties much faster.
Put your saffron stigmas into a mortar and pulverize it. The finer the powder will be, the higher the yield in terms of pigmentation and the better the organoleptic perception.
Adding pistils directly on food will give you a decidedly minimal yield of product. So it’s important to always pulverize stigmas.
Once you have obtained the powder from the pistils, leave it infusion in a cup of hot water (80°C) for about 20-30 minutes. The use of boiling water is not recommended. The longer the infusion time in the water, the better the yield. Occasionally stir gently.
Recommended infusion time is between 40 and 60 minutes. A good solution could be to leave cup in bain-marie taking care that water does not boil.
You should never warm it up over high heat.
If you do not want to use water you can leave saffron infused in broth, or in milk. It seems that the latter is an excellent enhancer of its aroma.
After infusion time you can add it to your food. But only strictly once the cooking is completed. Cooked saffron would lose much of its flavor and aroma.
This is a traditional method always used by the best and most experienced chefs.
But there is a much more effective method and known by a few. Try it!
Initial part of the proceedings does not vary. Pulverize saffron and pour it into a cup. But this
time you don’t have to add hot water, you have to add ice!
Lay a couple of cubes in contact with saffron powder and let it melt at room temperature. Every now and then mix it. Once the ice is melted we assure you that your spice will be ready to give you the maximum of its yield.
Saffron should be stored in a dry place, away from light and heat sources. It can be stored up to two years after harvest. The product has no expiration date, but obviously over time its organoleptic qualities loose power and the product has a lower yield than just after having been dried. The bright red color of the new harvest, over time gets darker.