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Apr 21, 2008 09:04 PM


I am planning to make paella for a large group. Everyone is contributing something to the dish so it isn't going to cost me a whole lot of money. I have made it before but used tumeric to obtain the yellow color but was debating on buying the saffron for a more "authentic" flavor. Is saffron worth the price? Where should I look to buy it? Powdered or threads? Steep, toast, or add it to the dish? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

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  1. Costco. Threads. $30 28g. Steep it into dish. VERY pungent, distinctive, defiantly not just a pretty color, even though it is that too!

    3 Replies
    1. re: renov8r

      Totally worth it (assuming its threads and fresh). I've only ever had the cheap stuff, and it's wonderful. I've never seen it at my Costco, but my local Coop and TJ's both have it, and it's not that pricy. I've always steeped it in some liquid then added that to my dish.

      1. re: Vetter

        threads are better. Steep into liquid. a drink my mom used to make me when i was sick was warm milk with a few threads of saffron, some sugar and some sliced pistachios on top. i still love it.

      2. re: renov8r

        My boyfriend bought this yesterday - it was $25 for 5 grams of very nice looking threads in a fancy glass bottle at our local Costco. I not sure how the quality ranks up there as I haven't used it yet but it looks gorgeous.

      3. You can get a little packet of saffron from a Middle Eastern shop or an Italian grocer for about $5. Must do it!

        1. I use Spanish Saffron in my Paella. I usually steep the threads 1st. You can add it to the rice and broth also. I have done it both ways and turned out fine. I ordered mine from Spice House. We don't have a Costco or TJ where I live and the grocery store spices are expensive and you never know how old they are.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Smileelisa

            Trader Joes has saffron at a good price

          2. Saffron is a much subtler taste than turmeric (and, of course, more authentic). Buy threads. Steep them for a while, then add everything to the cooking dish.

            1. Maybe this makes me a hardliner, but gosh, I can't even imagine paella without saffron. To me, that's like coq au vin without the vin -- it's one of the primary characteristics of the dish. And turmeric is definitely not a substitute. They both add yellow color, and the similarities end there.

              So, yes, it's worth it... necessary, even :-)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Dmnkly

                Its worth it.. just don't buy TONS of it - Penzey's, near me, sell small packets.. you don't need to use a lot.