[Sca-cooks] grow your own spices? (was) Onion Juice - and Saffron measurements

Siren Song sirensong13 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 6 07:51:45 PST 2007

How hard is saffron to grow? 


"Pixel, Goddess and Queen" <pixel at hundred-acre-wood.com> wrote: 

You're going to need more saffron if you're actually using it for flavor 
rather than for just color. Also, check to make sure that the cheaper sort 
of "saffron" is really pure saffron and not safflower. I can get Mexican 
saffron at the local grocery store for much, much cheaper than real 
saffron, but that's because it isn't the same thing. Mexican saffron 
(asafran/azafran) is safflower, which is used for color but not for flavor 
(and you can dye silk pink with it, but that's another digression 

Real saffron (Crocus sativus L., the autumn crocus) is anywhere from 
$6-10/g (yes, that's gram) while safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L., a 
thistle) is more like $2/oz.

So, to sum up--if you want color, safflower is a perfectly reasonable 
substitute. If you want flavor, it does not substitute for saffron.


Margaret FitzWilliam
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