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It is obviously the most expensive spice there is. Its cost per kilo can be several thousand dollars. This is probably why it is called “red gold”. The cost is due to the fact that saffron is harvested and processed by hand only. And it also takes several thousand stigmas of crocus (the plant from which it is made) to make a single kilogram.
Saffron is native to Crete and there are several varieties: the Spanish, rather sweet, the Italian, stronger, and quite intense those from Macedonia, Iran and India. Chemically complex plant (it contains more than a hundred volatile and non-volatile compounds), it is especially cultivated for its incomparable culinary properties. It is indeed not only a recognized natural coloring agent but also a fabulous flavor enhancer. Among other things, it works wonders in rice dishes such as paella and risotto.
A tip from a friend: if you want to get the full flavor and color from it, soak it for a few minutes in a little hot water or white wine.
Origin : Spain
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