Saffron – Whaaaat?!

It turns out that Saffron is the gold of spices.

On Sunday I stopped to shop at Stop & Shop and checked out the spices aisle. From a cost perspective, Saffron blows the rest of the spices out of the water. It turns out saffron is the stamen of a special crocus plant. Because of the labor intensive process to collect it, it’s stupidly expensive. like… between $5000.00 and $7000.00 a pound. That’s… very pricey.

For now, my kitchen will remain saffronless.

10 thoughts on “Saffron – Whaaaat?!

  • 5/27/2009 at 10:22 am
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    Sure, but a pound of saffron is a ridiculous amount… i usually buy a vial of the stamens and it’s $15ish.

    If I had to guess, I’d say i’m buying 1 gram, but I don’t know for sure. I’d say the vial lasts around a year.

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  • 5/27/2009 at 1:48 pm
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    Or….you could grow your own bunch of those crocus’ and then harvest the stamens yourself. Sell it on the black market for 2-3k a pound, and make some serious scratch.

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  • 5/27/2009 at 1:50 pm
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    I usually buy Penzey’s Spanish Saffron or Trader Joe’s. You rarely have to use more than a quarter teaspoon in a recipe. Like Ben, I buy the stamens and grind them myself. I love saffron – a necessity for Paella!!!!

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  • 5/27/2009 at 2:15 pm
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    Yeah, a little saffron can go a long way. It’s cheapest to buy in Spain, so if you ever make a trip over there, you buy some and be set for 10 years.

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  • 5/27/2009 at 2:35 pm
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    Yeah, Saffron is basically heroin… comes from a flower, most people buy it by the gram…

    So instead of growing Crocus plants, grow Opium Poppies and sell the heroin and then use the profits to buy saffron

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  • 5/27/2009 at 3:20 pm
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    Now THAT’S thinking I agree with!

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  • 5/27/2009 at 3:52 pm
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    I try not to buy spices at Stop and Shop because they usually try to rob you blind. Example, I tried to buy cardamom pods at S&S they were $18.99 for a tiny glass jar. A BAG of cardamom pods from Kosmos (local Indian food store)? Only $3.

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  • 5/28/2009 at 12:22 pm
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    Totally agree! I make chai a lot so we go through tons of peppercorns, cardamom and cinamon sticks. Four cinamon sticks from the grocery store – $6, 100 cinamom sticks from the indian grocery – $3. And you can get mango juice for a reasonable price at the Indian grocery and that stuff is delicous.

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  • 5/29/2009 at 9:55 am
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    The three most expensive spices: Saffron (by far) then pure vanilla and cardamom. But totally worth it.

    I did plant some saffron crocus corms once, and yes, it is possible to grow your own but when you do, then you realise it’s much easier just to buy it. Nothing quite like growing your own spices.

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  • 5/30/2009 at 10:24 am
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    Like Patrick said, it’s very cheap in certain places of the world. I picked up massive amounts of it in Kuwait for very little money.

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