Is saffron really so expensive?

Morning Glory

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Please note this report is based on UK prices.

Its often said that saffron is the most expensive spice and I've many times heard that weight for weight its more expensive than gold. I'm sure this must put off a lot of people who have never cooked with it. But is it really so expensive?

I buy saffron on-line from Amazon or sometimes from my local Asian shop and don't consider it to be prohibitively expensive. This is the one I get from Amazon:

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 17.50.31.png


As you can see this is £7.99 for 4 grams. So it is £2 per gram. The current price of gold as I write is £31.65 per gram. So one could hardly argue that saffron is more expensive than gold!

This is tried and tested saffron and its certainly not fake 'safflower'. It may not be the best and ultimate saffron in the world but its pretty special and I'd recommend it to anyone. It can be bought in a smaller 1g quantity but works out a little more expensive.

Next up is a brand sold in supermarkets:

Screen Shot 2019-04-19 at 11.04.04.png

As you can see this is way more expensive. You only get .4 grams in a jar, so less than half a gram. It is approximately £10 per gram. This is five times the cost of the saffron from Amazon but still nowhere near the price of gold.

Next up a more expensive offering via Amazon:

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 17.53.56.png




This one also works out at £10 per gram - the same as the Bart brand but it is organic and might be better quality.

There may more expensive types available but I stopped looking at this point. As far as I can tell saffron isn't generally speaking more expensive than gold. I'm sure there are rarified and expensive premium types of saffron just as there are fine and expensive wines. But I reckon that if you are a home cook you won't be disappointed with any of the above brands.

If you take into account just how little saffron you need to flavour a dish then I don't consider it expensive at all. I have just made chicken kebabs marinated in saffron (plus a few other ingredients) and used just 1/4 tsp (.2 grams ) of saffron strands for two chicken breasts. This works out at 10p for the saffron in this dish.

It would be interesting to know how these prices compare to saffron available in your country.
 

medtran49

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Here's a web site explaining more about saffron, including how to tell quality. The more white/yellow threads you have, the lower the quality, among other indicators.

At the grocery, the saffron comes in 0.5 or 0.4 gram containers and is around $5 if I remember correctly. I'll look to be sure when we go. The cashiers seem to always have to stop and look at the saffron when they ring it up and then question why it's so expensive.
 

murphyscreek

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Here in Australia the big supermarket chains sell it as pictured. It comes in a nifty square hard plastic storage container to keep it fresh. 0.5 grams cost $7.10 Aussie. ...so around $5 US. The last two dishes I used it in were a kashmiri lamb, and a lamb biryani. And I still have plenty left so a little does go a long way!!
 

rascal

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View attachment 23816

Here in Australia the big supermarket chains sell it as pictured. It comes in a nifty square hard plastic storage container to keep it fresh. 0.5 grams cost $7.10 Aussie. ...so around $5 US. The last two dishes I used it in were a kashmiri lamb, and a lamb biryani. And I still have plenty left so a little does go a long way!!
We have master foods as well. I'll get mine there.

Russ
 

TodayInTheKitchen

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Just enough to color & flavor the food somewhat. Too much of it will have the dish tasting like horrible medicine!!!! :ohmy::headshake:
Now you are scaring me. :scratchhead:Did I just create a big piece of horrible medicine? (see image below)

Quick update: I am right on the border of "too much saffron". That is to say, that I can tolerate the taste but I am pretty sure my dinner guests will not like it. Thank goodness I have enough time to buy more fish and use less saffron. :highfive:
 
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Morning Glory

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Now you are scaring me. :scratchhead:Did I just create a big piece of horrible medicine? (see image below)

Quick update: I am right on the border of "too much saffron". That is to say, that I can tolerate the taste but I am pretty sure my dinner guests will not like it. Thank goodness I have enough time to buy more fish and use less saffron. :highfive:
How much did you use?!!! In the other thread I suggested adding 1/4 tsp to the marinade for 4 cod fillets. Maximum 1/2 tsp. Not sure what you did here.
 

TodayInTheKitchen

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How much did you use?!!! In the other thread I suggested adding 1/4 tsp to the marinade for 4 cod fillets. Maximum 1/2 tsp. Not sure what you did here.
I know, I know @morning glory . I am such an Eye Dee Ten Tee. On the upside, you and the rest of the CookingBites community saved my dinner guests from hating me!!!! :woot:
 
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