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The Spice Cellar

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Saffron Strands from Spain - 0.5g Glass Jar - Steenbergs

£3.10

Saffron Strands from Spain - 0.5g Glass Jar - Steenbergs

£3.10
SKU:
ST_SAF1_05
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Product Description

Steenbergs Fairtrade Saffron - 0.5g of high quality Spanish Saffron supplied in a glass jar for freshness.

Saffron is one of the most expensive of spices by weight due to the fact that the stamens of the crocus are picked by hand. It is hugely labour intensive.  Steenbergs saffron comes from a family run farm in Spain.  It is a truly excellent saffron.  There's so many things to do with just a few strands of saffron from adding it to rice, to paella - whatever you do with it, it's always an enriching and luxurious meal.

Saffron comes from an ornamental, autumn-flowering perennial crocus which only grows to about 15cm (6 inches) tall.  Saffron, Crocus sativus, grows from corms (bulbs) which resemble small onions in appearance, which then send up long, gray-green chive-like leaves.  On another stem, saffron crocuses grow lily-like, blue to violet flowers with vividly contrasting, bright-orange stigmas and fluffy yellow, pollen-bearing stamens.  Each saffron flower has three stigmas connected to the base of the bloom by a fine, pale thread, the style.  It is the stigmas that make saffron spice, which when dried and separated from the style range from 10-18mm long (0.33-0.67 inches), and are a dark-red and thin fibre, that start thin and then fan out a little at the tip in a buisine (straight old-fashioned trumpet) shape.  The aroma of saffron is woody, sweet and strongly floral while the flavour is bitter, lingering and appetising.  Its pungency comes from safranal and the earthy, bittersweet flavour from picrocrocin.  But it is its colour that is its defining feature which comes from the powerful, soluble dye, crocin, which is in the blood-red stigmas' colour.  When released, saffron dyes food to a charming and magical orange-yellow that adds so much light coloured foods such as rice.  As for the cost, this arises because of the method of processing, which is intensely hand-driven - for a period of three weeks, nearly every inhabitant of a town, including all generations, must work on collecting the valuable saffron stigmas.  Each plant produces up to three flowers on consecutive mornings and through back-breaking work, the blooms must be collected before the sun gets too hot, then the precious stigmas are removed by the womenfolk, who work through the night to keep up with the supply of gorgeous blue flowers coming in from the fields.  At this stage, the stigmas have no flavour (like many spices have before further curing and processing), so the spice is cured by reducing the moisture content to 12% by some form of artificial heat.  Therefore, 1kg of saffron comes from 8.25kg of fresh stigmas and consists of roughly 300,000 crocus flowers* picked and 370-470 hours of work, so one pot of 0.5g comes from about 150 bulbs or 30 minutes of time, so based on a UK minimum wage would be roughly £3 in time costs or £5 based on UK average wages! now that is dedication or really hard work, depending on your point of view.

 Country of Origin: Spain

Nett Product Weight: 0.5g

Best Before date: 31/08/2018

Health Disclaimer - All products are sold for culinary purposes only. We do not make any health benefit claims. Should the user intend to purchase the goods for health reasons, they should obtain detailed advice from a Doctor or other suitably qualified health professional

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