Decent price on saffron ?
Looking to make large paella and need more than I have. Thanx
Yekta Market in Rockville always has Persian/Mediterranean spices and ingredients cheaper than I see in other places. Things like saffron, sesame seeds that you normally see high prices for small quantities elsewhere seem to be particular deals.
I brought back a pile of saffron from Spain as it's much cheaper there so just now I looked to see if it's possible to order direct from Spain. It is. I googled "order grocery items from Spain" and got "La Tienda" (the shop) where saffron (azafran) sells @ 10 packets for US$ 18.95.
About once every year or two, I order 5 gm of saffron and 1/2 lb (!!!!) of Tahitian vanilla beans from this place: http://www.saffron.com/. The saffron is from Afghanistan, and is of utterly exceptional quality: deep red, delicate threads. No need to toast them--they crumble beautifully. None of that fishy/musty/soapy smell you get from the cheap stuff.
Vanilla beans are also exceptional in terms of freshness and flavour, though they are on the small side, so there is a little more slicing and scraping involved.
Price? About 60 bucks for both together, including shipping. In know, GET OUT!
5 gm is a lot of of saffron, especially with how powerful this stuff is. But I manage to plough through it pretty well--I occasionally send some home with friends who ask "What did you put in this risotto???" I use it in desserts (ice cream, creme brûlée, semifreddo, genoise, frosting), pasta sauce, soups, curries, stew, meatballs, cocktails, etc. When you have it at that price you can go nuts. The saffron has always remained fresh for a couple of years.
The vanilla beans are a bigger challenge to get through, and they start to dry out after 12 to 18 months. I don't make much by way of desserts. But if you have then, you use them in lieu of extract. Example: delicious pound cake. And as with the saffron, favoured guests get some to take home. This year, I did not manage to get through them, so I am making some extract, which I suppose I will also give away....