Quick Tips for Choosing and Storing Saffron

If you’ve never purchased the spice fresh before, you may not know how to go about choosing and storing saffron. It’s a bit different than other spices because of how it’s picked and stored and used in foods and for your health. Consider a few quick tips for the first time you go shopping for this spice.

Saffron is a very pungent spice that not only adds flavor to foods, but also offers some tremendous health benefits. The spice is full of antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals, and these are the building blocks of healthy cells. The antioxidants in saffron help to bolster the immune system and build strong muscles and organs.

If you’ve never purchased the spice fresh before, you may not know how to go about choosing and storing saffron. It’s a bit different than other spices because of how it’s picked and stored and used in foods and for your health. Consider a few quick tips for the first time you go shopping for this spice.

 Fresh Saffron

One thing you’ll notice that’s different about fresh saffron is that it’s sold in long strings, called threads. This is from the flower itself and choosing this fresh variety is going to give you the most flavor and aroma. These threads will also have the highest concentration of vitamins and antioxidants. They are typically snipped and pieces of them then ground for cooking.

When shopping, only choose fresh threads that are stored in tinfoil or an airtight container. This will ensure their flavor and aroma. You want to look for a deep dark red color; the darker the red, the more aromatic the spice will be and the more antioxidants and healthy properties it will offer. See some samples here.

Choosing and storing saffron when it’s fresh is easy enough; you need to keep it in an airtight container and preferably wrapped in foil so that it stays fresh. You don’t need to use much saffron at any meal so you need to keep your fresh threads as fresh as possible over a long period of time.

Powders

Dried spices are typically much less pungent and have far fewer antioxidant properties than fresh, and saffron is no exception. Powders are also easy to adulterate with fillers and extracts so that you’re not getting the true spice itself. However, if you do choose a powder be sure you look for the dark color and only buy from a reputable store. Note if dyes are used by checking the ingredients label and skip any that have been dyed dark red.

When choosing and storing saffron in powder form, keep it in an airtight jar and in a cool and dark place. This will allow it to retain as much of its original flavor and smell as possible.

Storing Saffron Hot Tips!

Using spices is a trick that every outstanding cook successfully employs. Adding saffron to dishes is a delightful way of turning a boring meal into a true pleasure for your tasting buds… but once you buy a batch, how do you store it? How do you make sure it never loses its aroma?

5 tips to prevent your saffron from going stale:

1. The first thing to keep in mind is that spices, including saffron, have a low resistance to water. As many occasional and professional cooks already know, water is the perfect environment for growing bacteria and fungi. This means that the latter will thrive in a moist environment and therefore, you should keep your spices in dry spaces.

2. After having checked that your saffron isn’t damp at all, it’s important to look for a neat cool place to store it in. Just remember, the spice has to be dry, otherwise it’ll sooner or later become unusable. It’s preferable to keep it in a cooler place, particularly because direct sunlight has the potential to decrease its taste and color.

3. Yet another detail to keep in mind is the presence of air. As is the case of water, air helps mold to thrive. For those who don’t have the option of purchasing airtight containers, we recommend you wrap the saffron in aluminum foil and then store it as we already indicated.

4. Time is also precious in the case of storing this spice. Saffron aficionados will have to refrain from purchasing larger quantities, because unlike other condiments, some batches don’t last a long time. Moreover, every time you handle your supply, you accidentally let in some air and sunlight, and therefore risk ruining its savor. However, if you’re extremely careful with it, you may have the luck of keeping it up to a year.

5. Keeping your saffron in the refrigerator is technically prohibited, but if you intend to use it in the near future, it luckily won’t lose its flavor. It goes without saying that if you deposit your saffron in the proximity of your oven you might spoil it.

 

These are the golden rules of keeping your saffron fresh and savory.

Now it is over to you! Tell us how you store or share a photo of your saffron pack in the comments below.

Bon appetit!

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