I recently read a book in which saffron tea was mentioned - it sounds delicious! The book mentioned it as prepared in Iran, with honey, but offered no other specifics. I was wondering if anyone out there can recommend 1) a recipe for saffron tea 2) a restaurant that offers saffon tea 3) a place to purchase saffron (Kalustyan's?) or saffron tea bags. Thanks!
Huh. I'm Iranian, and have never heard of such thing. Definitely saffron sweets, saffron rice pudding, saffron ice cream...but tea? Interesting. Iranians make incredible, strong, fragrant tea, but I haven't heard of saffron tea. I'll ask my 24-hour Iranian food telephone consultant (Mom).
Right near Kalustyan's is an Iranian grocery called Nader. If I remember correctly, it's located on 28th St just east of 5th Ave. It's been years since I was last there, but if they still exist they will definitely have saffron, and may have saffron almond/pistachio brittle, and other cookies.
Other good saffron-intense NYC foods (sorry, I'm straying far far away from your original request) are rice pudding at Moustache, saffron aquavit at Aquavit, and the rich saffron stew of the tamalitos at Itzocan Bistro. Or make your own Iranian ice cream, as I have resorted to doing: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
re: rose water
Hi - Thanks for all the great saffron-related ideas! I may have to try them all. I'll reread the passage in the book I referred to (Colors: A Natural History of the Palette, by Victoria Finlay) and see if I can provide any more details. It may be that because the author was visiting a saffron factory, they gave her something very particular and not at all traditional or widespread throughout Iran. She describes it as delicious - like "liquid rubies" - and was warned that too much would give her the giggles. I'll check out your suggestions, but please do let me know if you hear anything from your mother!
From my reference: " We were served saffron tea. It was like drinking liquid rubies: sweet, pure and a very deep red, and yet at the top it had a thin oily layer of gold. 'Be careful,' I was told jokingly as the drinks arrived, ' or you will laugh too much.'" The author had saffron tea at Novin Saffron in Mashhad, Iran.
Lo and behold, I just did a Google search and the company has a web site listing recipes, including saffron tea (using their own prepared mix)! http://www.novinsaffron.com/recipe.htm
Now I just have to figure out how to make it from scratch!...
Since this has been bumped I'll mention that the masala milk at Saravanaas is delicious, and generous with the saffron. (Though the OP is likely lactose intolerant and may want to skip it). And also worth noting is that the saffron at Penzys is great.