Saffron Powder - Avoid Getting Ripped Off With Fake Saffron Powder
Saffron is an elegant, luxurious spice - it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Much of the confusion stems (excuse the pun) from false marketing and a lack of education around how saffron is grown, harvested and why it’s so important to purchase authentic saffron.
We’re going to run you through the ins and outs to source excellent saffron and when to use powder saffron instead of saffron threads.
Saffron Powder vs Saffron Threads
Saffron is a spice grown in particular climates across the globe, including Australia, but the world’s premium saffron and majority of the worlds saffron is grown in the Middle East.
The botanical name for the saffron plant is Crocus Sativus and out of the entire flower, it’s the threads - the whole stigma - which end up on dinner plates, in herbal remedies and sipped in teas and smoothies.
The threads can be used whole or dried and ground into a fine powder.
The primary difference between using powder saffron and saffron threads is that saffron powder does not need to be soaked or activated before use, whereas the threads must be soaked in water and activated first. Saffron powder can be stirred into a recipe like any other ground spice. Both methods deliver a golden glow, and only genuine saffron delivers the distinctive aroma and flavour which has made saffron sought after for centuries.
Why would I use Saffron powder instead of Saffron threads?
Ultimately, powder saffron is made of threads, and sometimes you don’t have time to activate the saffron threads, or you don’t want the threads to be visible in a dish - but you want all of the flavour and aroma - this is where powder saffron is perfect!
Plus, a big benefit of saffron powder is that you can use half the amount of saffron compared to threads, meaning your saffron will go a little farther in powder form.
Saffron Powder Imitations
Unfortunately, many large international corporations and even some smaller operations market ‘fake saffron’ using trickery to fool the customer into believing they are purchasing genuine saffron.
Dishonest vendors and companies will do things such as use food colouring or add different types of powder such as turmeric or paprika to genuine saffron
powder to increase the sale weight.
Aside from lacking flavour and aroma fake saffron also deprives the customer of all the nutritional benefits.
Several companies in Australia, like us, sell genuine saffron, and you can be assured that when you buy from a reputable store the owners can tell you exactly where their saffron is harvested, about the history of the spice and provide you with saffron which is rich not just in colour but in aroma and depth of flavour.
What about supermarket Saffron? Is it real?
Sadly the major Australian supermarkets, Woolworths, Coles and Aldi do not invest in genuine saffron Powder nor high-quality saffron, and the saffron powder for sale is fake.
For example the well known Hoyts brand of spices markets a rather offensive product called ‘Hoyts Saffron Powder Imitation’ which is incredibly misleading as this product does not contain any saffron and is nothing more than food colouring in powdered form to give the illusion of saffron in a dish, this product does not have any aroma or taste.
How much should I expect to pay for Saffron powder?
The truth is that when it comes to saffron, you get what you pay for and if you find cheap saffron powder it’s fake saffron and has been altered somehow. Good quality Saffron should cost you anywhere between $5 to $10 per gram.
Where to buy genuine Saffron Powder in Australia?
The best way to avoid imitation powder saffron is to purchase from a reputable saffron seller, such as Saffronice and have the 30 days money back guarantee as your assurance. Make sure you always ask for 30 days money back guarantee, if the seller is not willing to back their products then you should avoid purchasing from them.
How do I make my own Saffron powder?
Powdering saffron threads is simple using either a mortar and pestle or an electric grinder - but you’ll want to pay attention and go slowly if you’re using a grinder to ensure it doesn’t make the Saffron hot. Using the pulse function on a coffee grinder will yield the best results. You should also know that the coffee or other herbs and spices will leave an aroma in the grinder which could mix with the Saffron aroma, it is best to dedicate one machine to grinding Saffron or wash the machine well before grinding your Saffron.
You can use a mortar and pestle to manually grind the threads into a powder.
There’s something very lovely about doing this the traditional way with the mortar and pestle and we stock a gorgeous Brass Mortar and Pestle chosen specifically for this purpose.
To store the saffron powder you will need a sealed airtight container, to prevent oxidisation (which happens quickly). The best way is to store your Saffron in the fridge (up to 2 years) and only grind enough saffron powder when you need it.
To wrap up,
• Saffron powder is a cost-effective and time-efficient way to use saffron in recipes.
• Ensure you have genuine saffron by purchasing threads from a reputable seller.
• Store threads in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 years, grind into
powder as needed and get the very best from the world’s premium spice.