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Re: The problem with "saffron"

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  • cschutrick
    ... Well, there s Pennsylvania Macaroni in Pittsburgh; last fall, and I think still, they were selling little bundles of Spanish saffron (~50 threads) for US
    Message 1 of 29 , Apr 28, 2005
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      > ... three bucks an OUNCE???
      >
      > Where are you getting this stuff?
      > I just looked in my spice cabinet, to see what I was paying for
      > various, and discovered that even my lowly dill weed (yeah, I could
      > have grown it myself) cost about $8 an ounce in the jar.
      > I needed a bit of saffron at Pennsic last year, and it was $6 a gram
      > there. (And Spanish.) Fortunately, a gram goes a long way.

      Well, there's Pennsylvania Macaroni in Pittsburgh; last fall, and I
      think still, they were selling little bundles of Spanish saffron (~50
      threads) for US $3. Seems to me it was about a gram of actual
      saffron, so that might be worth looking into next time you need
      some. :)

      And I didn't know you could eat safflower; I've only ever encountered
      it as a dyestuff--makes nice bright yellows and a brilliant pink-red.
      Not very fast, though.

      --Jeannette
      who is ordering more saffron crocus, because, well, I mentioned they
      need mulch, right?
    • Kareina Talvi Tytär
      I don t know about England, but there is a fair bit of saffron being grown and sold locally in Tasmania (Australia), which is about as far south as Oregon is
      Message 2 of 29 , Apr 28, 2005
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        I don't know about England, but there is a fair bit of saffron being grown
        and sold locally in Tasmania (Australia), which is about as far south as
        Oregon is north.

        --Kareina

        > Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 09:37:40 -0400
        > [snip]
        >
        >Parts of England are warmer than PA even now, despite being
        >geographically farther north. I wouldn't be at all surprised if there
        >were many areas in England where saffron crocuses would grow. Maybe
        >only in sheltered corners, but still....
        >--
        >Anastasia Emilianova
        >Jenn Ridley : jridley@...


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      • jeffrey.heilveil@ndsu.edu
        ... The oriental groceries in both Fargo, ND and Champaign, IL had them at that price. Indian markets too, I d assume. ... Jeffrey S. Heilveil, Ph.D.
        Message 3 of 29 , Apr 28, 2005
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          >... three bucks an OUNCE???
          > Where are you getting this stuff?

          The oriental groceries in both Fargo, ND and Champaign, IL had them at
          that price. Indian markets too, I'd assume.

          -----------------------------------------------------------
          Jeffrey S. Heilveil, Ph.D.
          Postdoctoral Fellow
          Department of Biological Sciences
          North Dakota State University
          Stevens Hall
          Fargo, ND 58105
          jeffrey.heilveil@...
        • Nest verch Tangwistel
          I am under the impression that southern England has a very similar climate to southern New England. The Gulf stream bounces off Massachusetts and cuts across
          Message 4 of 29 , Apr 28, 2005
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            I am under the impression that southern England has a very similar
            climate to southern New England. The Gulf stream bounces off
            Massachusetts and cuts across the Atlantic to England taking the warm
            wet climate with it. I have grown saffron crocuses here in Mass so I am
            thinking it would be possible there also.

            Nest
            >
            > During much of the Middle Ages there were vineyards in England (as
            > there are today). If memory serves the wines may not have been as
            > sweet as they could get from France, but they were growing sufficient
            > that H8 owned 11 Vinyards. A further 67 were owned by various nobles
            > and 50-something by the Church.
            >
            > Marc/Diarmaid
          • azilisarmor
            From where I live (US side of the Canadian-US border) most places carrying cheap, good spices are just plain unreachable. Montreal and Ottawa are within 2
            Message 5 of 29 , Apr 28, 2005
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              From where I live (US side of the Canadian-US border) most
              places carrying cheap, good spices are just plain unreachable.
              Montreal and Ottawa are within 2 hours. Does anyone have
              experience in buying spices in Canada and bringing them back
              through customs?

              Deroch
            • Lady_Lark_Azure
              ... Have you ever tried Penzeys? (penzeys.com) I ve never had any complaints with their quality and they have a great range of stuff. Isabeau
              Message 6 of 29 , Apr 28, 2005
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                --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "azilisarmor" <alsnchap@t...>
                wrote:
                > From where I live (US side of the Canadian-US border) most
                > places carrying cheap, good spices are just plain unreachable.
                > Montreal and Ottawa are within 2 hours. Does anyone have
                > experience in buying spices in Canada and bringing them back
                > through customs?
                >
                > Deroch

                Have you ever tried Penzeys? (penzeys.com) I've never had any
                complaints with their quality and they have a great range of stuff.

                Isabeau
              • kittencat3@aol.com
                I agree: $3 an ounce for saffron is ludicrously cheap. That stuff is literally worth more than its weight in gold. BTW, for anyone who s interested in
                Message 7 of 29 , Apr 28, 2005
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                  I agree: $3 an ounce for saffron is ludicrously cheap. That stuff is
                  literally worth more than its weight in gold.

                  BTW, for anyone who's interested in ludicrously expensive dyes, saffron
                  produces a nice, reasonably fast yellow and can be overdyed to a pretty
                  green.....

                  Sarah Davies


                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: jeffrey.heilveil@...
                  To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 12:18:39 -0500 (CDT)
                  Subject: Re: [Authentic_SCA] Re: The problem with "saffron"


                  >... three bucks an OUNCE???
                  > Where are you getting this stuff?

                  The oriental groceries in both Fargo, ND and Champaign, IL had them at
                  that price. Indian markets too, I'd assume.

                  -----------------------------------------------------------
                  Jeffrey S. Heilveil, Ph.D.
                  Postdoctoral Fellow
                  Department of Biological Sciences
                  North Dakota State University
                  Stevens Hall
                  Fargo, ND 58105
                  jeffrey.heilveil@...




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                • Mary Taran
                  ... Astonishing. I shall have to look. MT -- No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Anti-Virus. Version: 7.0.308 / Virus Database: 266.10.4 -
                  Message 8 of 29 , Apr 28, 2005
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                    At 09:38 AM 4/28/2005, you wrote:

                    >If one haunts Asian groceries you can find "spanish saffron" for $3/oz.
                    >It is NOT safflower, but is indeed crocus stamens, of the same species as
                    >the "true saffron" provider.
                    >
                    >cu drag,
                    >Bogdan

                    Astonishing. I shall have to look.

                    MT


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                  • Adele de Maisieres
                    ... Ummm... I buy saffron that comes variously from India, Spain, and even the locally grown (Canterbury, New Zealand) stuff, and it s _all_ expensive. Adele
                    Message 9 of 29 , Apr 28, 2005
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                      jeffrey.heilveil@... wrote:

                      >There is a reason you can get "Spanish saffron" for as little as $3/oz,
                      >while the "real thing" is FAR more expensive.
                      >
                      >For a "Port" wine to be "properly" called a Port, it needs to be produced
                      >in Portugal. For something to truly be "Champagne" (and not sparkling
                      >wine) it needs to be produced in "Champagne". The Saffron that costs so
                      >dearly is all produced in a couple counties in Spain. If you cross out of
                      >those counties and grow the same crocus, the cost of a stamen is FAR less.
                      >
                      >
                      >

                      Ummm... I buy saffron that comes variously from India, Spain, and even
                      the locally grown (Canterbury, New Zealand) stuff, and it's _all_
                      expensive.

                      Adele
                    • Adele de Maisieres
                      ... Yup. I think it can also contain calendula. Adele
                      Message 10 of 29 , Apr 28, 2005
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                        Mary Taran wrote:

                        >It is my understanding that the stuff sold at $3/oz is actually safflower,
                        >which will indeed color your stuff much as saffron will, but I've never
                        >seen it marketed as "Spanish" saffron. In fact, it is clearly marked as
                        >coming from Mexico (although it could be imported from Egypt as well--I'm
                        >not familiar with the Egyptian fake). If you look at the stuff in the
                        >container, saffron looks like little threads and safflower (false saffron)
                        >looks like wood shavings.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >

                        Yup. I think it can also contain calendula.

                        Adele
                      • Hasoferet@aol.com
                        In a message dated 4/28/2005 9:45:31 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... Trader Joe s (a California chain I would probably pine away and wither without), sells
                        Message 11 of 29 , Apr 29, 2005
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                          In a message dated 4/28/2005 9:45:31 AM Pacific Standard Time,
                          jeffrey.heilveil@... writes:


                          > If one haunts Asian groceries you can find "spanish saffron" for $3/oz.
                          > It is NOT safflower, but is indeed crocus stamens, of the same species as
                          > the "true saffron" provider.

                          Trader Joe's (a California chain I would probably pine away and wither
                          without), sells saffron at about four bucks for a little jar, can't find mine now,
                          so not sure of the weight. I don't cook with saffron much, so one of these
                          lasts me ages. My old-neighborhood yuppie food mart sold it for about the same
                          prices. I recall buying a couple ounces back when I was in grade school for a
                          fabric-dying project.

                          Raquel

                          Raquel
                          _______________________________________________________
                          Kamatz katan le'olam!


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Ragnhildr/Adrienne
                          I can also recommend San Francisco Herb (sfherb.com). 1 gram of saffron is $2.05, and an ounce is $28.60. Of course, there is a minimum order, but I never
                          Message 12 of 29 , May 1, 2005
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                            I can also recommend San Francisco Herb (sfherb.com). 1 gram of
                            saffron is $2.05, and an ounce is $28.60.

                            Of course, there is a minimum order, but I never have trouble filling
                            out that $30.

                            Ragnhildr


                            --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Lady_Lark_Azure"
                            <jenniferanne21@n...> wrote:

                            > Have you ever tried Penzeys? (penzeys.com) I've never had any
                            > complaints with their quality and they have a great range of stuff.
                            >
                            > Isabeau
                          • eiremyst
                            Personally, I have been using the saffron that comes in 1 ounce tins from Indian markets -- a decent dye and taste. However, if you are looking for smaller
                            Message 13 of 29 , May 1, 2005
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                              Personally, I have been using the saffron that comes in 1 ounce tins
                              from Indian markets -- a decent dye and taste. However, if you are
                              looking for smaller amounts, have noticed that Trader Joes in
                              Emeryville, CA is carrying 1 gram glass bottles of saffron from
                              around
                              2 dollars.
                            • Andrea Huwydd Lycsenbwrg
                              Whew! I now know more about saffron than was ever dreamt of in my philosophy. But no one answered why Elidyr s Little People were so fond of it, and I just
                              Message 14 of 29 , May 6, 2005
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                                Whew! I now know more about saffron than was ever
                                dreamt of in my philosophy. But no one answered why
                                Elidyr's Little People were so fond of it, and I just
                                stumbled across a plausible answer myself....According
                                to the Physicians of Myddvai (South Wales, 13th
                                century), "If you would be at all times merry, eat
                                saffron in meat or drink, and you will never be sad;
                                but beware of eating over much, lest you should die of
                                excessive joy." So if the Folk spent all their time
                                in feasting, dancing, and merry-making, the saffron
                                fits right would be a big help.

                                Does anyone have a recipe for a dish made with milk
                                and saffron?

                                Andrea


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                              • jeffrey.heilveil@ndsu.edu
                                ... From what time period? Darioles are custard pies that are done with saffron. But if I recall correctly, they are 13th - 15th (somewhere in there. I can t
                                Message 15 of 29 , May 9, 2005
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                                  > Does anyone have a recipe for a dish made with milk
                                  > and saffron?
                                  >
                                  > Andrea

                                  From what time period? Darioles are custard pies that are done with saffron.
                                  But if I recall correctly, they are 13th - 15th (somewhere in there. I
                                  can't remember this morning, it's been a long day already) English.

                                  -----------------------------------------------------------
                                  Jeffrey S. Heilveil, Ph.D.
                                  Postdoctoral Fellow
                                  Department of Biological Sciences
                                  North Dakota State University
                                  Stevens Hall
                                  Fargo, ND 58105
                                  jeffrey.heilveil@...
                                • glaukopisathene
                                  ... Oooh! I have a really tasty one that I just tried last week. From an anonymous Tuscan cookbook, late 14th or early 15th c: Del farro di spelta. Togli il
                                  Message 16 of 29 , May 9, 2005
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                                    --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Andrea Huwydd Lycsenbwrg
                                    <huwydd@y...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Does anyone have a recipe for a dish made with milk
                                    > and saffron?
                                    >
                                    > Andrea

                                    Oooh! I have a really tasty one that I just tried last week. From an
                                    anonymous Tuscan cookbook, late 14th or early 15th c:

                                    Del farro di spelta.
                                    Togli il farro de la spelta monda e rotta, e fallo bullire un poco; e
                                    gittata via quella acqua lava il detto farro molto bene e ritornalo a
                                    cocere con latte di capra o di pecora, ovvero d'amandole, fino che sia
                                    ben cotto. Trita il cascio fresco e mestalo con albume d'ova e mettilo
                                    nel detto farro bogliente, e bolla un poco. E puoi mettervi carne di
                                    galline o di polli, a modo di blanchemangieri; e di sopra metti del
                                    grasso del porco; e se 'l vuoli fare giallo, coloralo di zaffarano e
                                    tuorla d'ova, e ponvi del zuccaro.

                                    Spelt grain.
                                    Take cracked spelt, picked over, and boil it a little; and with the
                                    water thrown away wash said spelt very well and put it back to cook
                                    with goat's or sheep's milk, or almond milk instead, until it is well
                                    cooked. Mince fresh cheese and mix it with egg whites and put it in
                                    said farro as it boils, and boil it a little. And then put in hen or
                                    chicken meat, like a blancmange; and put pork fat on top of it; and if
                                    you want to make it yellow, color it with saffron and egg yolks, and
                                    add sugar.

                                    I used spelt, but whole wheat berries or other grains should work too.
                                    I parboiled them in water, then finished cooking it in goat's milk,
                                    with saffron, added a beaten egg (whole, to get the color from the
                                    yolk) and some farmers' cheese just at the point when the milk was
                                    nearly all absorbed, let it heat through, and ate it very hot with
                                    sugar on top. It was yummy, but not as good once it got cold.

                                    Buon appetito!


                                    Vittoria
                                  • Andrea Huwydd Lycsenbwrg
                                    ... This does sound yummy. I ll have to try it. I should have been more specific, though, about what I was looking for.... In the late 12th century, Gerald of
                                    Message 17 of 29 , May 9, 2005
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                                      --- glaukopisathene <phoenissa@...> wrote:
                                      > --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Andrea Huwydd
                                      > Lycsenbwrg
                                      > <huwydd@y...> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > Does anyone have a recipe for a dish made with
                                      > milk
                                      > > and saffron?
                                      > >
                                      > > Andrea
                                      >
                                      > Oooh! I have a really tasty one that I just tried
                                      > last week.

                                      This does sound yummy. I'll have to try it.

                                      I should have been more specific, though, about what
                                      I was looking for.... In the late 12th century,
                                      Gerald of Wales wrote down what he was told by a
                                      priest who used to visit the Little People as a boy:
                                      "They never ate meat or fish. They lived on various
                                      milk dishes, made up into junkets flavoured with
                                      saffron."

                                      Now, if they didn't eat meat, I can't see them making
                                      an actual junket, which is coagulated with rennet, so
                                      I interpret that as simply some sort of pudding or
                                      cheese-type dish.

                                      Andrea



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                                    • Andrea Huwydd Lycsenbwrg
                                      ... 12th century Wales. Given the dearth of period Welsh cookbooks, however, the approved method seems to be to pick up references to whatever food one can in
                                      Message 18 of 29 , May 9, 2005
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                                        --- jeffrey.heilveil@... wrote:
                                        >
                                        > > Does anyone have a recipe for a dish made with
                                        > milk
                                        > > and saffron?
                                        > >
                                        > > Andrea
                                        >
                                        > From what time period?

                                        12th century Wales. Given the dearth of period Welsh
                                        cookbooks, however, the approved method seems to be to
                                        pick up references to whatever food one can in the
                                        literature, look for the recipes closest in
                                        chronology and geography which fit the parameters
                                        given, and extrapolate like mad. So 13th-15th century
                                        English would be right on target!

                                        Darioles are custard pies
                                        > that are done with saffron.
                                        > But if I recall correctly, they are 13th - 15th
                                        > (somewhere in there. I
                                        > can't remember this morning, it's been a long day
                                        > already) English.

                                        A google search for "darioles" yielded a number of
                                        hits, all in French (which I will start learning after
                                        I'm reasonably competent in Middle Welsh and Latin).
                                        However, "daryoles" netted me a number of recipes,
                                        some version of which should work quite nicely. Thaks
                                        for the tip.

                                        Given that the Welsh did not have "bread", that is,
                                        wheat bread (English/French commentators did not feel
                                        that flat oakcakes qualified) the Little People would
                                        most likely have made a crustless custard. Did they
                                        have eggs? Elidyr doesn't mention any sort of
                                        domestic fowl, but I suppose one could postulate
                                        either wild bird eggs or eggs "borrowed" from their
                                        neighbors.

                                        Andrea



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                                      • Heather Rose Jones
                                        ... It would probably be worthwhile to discover what the original Latin term was that is being translated as junket . It will give you a more accurate
                                        Message 19 of 29 , May 9, 2005
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                                          At 10:53 AM -0700 5/9/05, Andrea Huwydd Lycsenbwrg wrote:

                                          > I should have been more specific, though, about what
                                          >I was looking for.... In the late 12th century,
                                          >Gerald of Wales wrote down what he was told by a
                                          >priest who used to visit the Little People as a boy:
                                          >"They never ate meat or fish. They lived on various
                                          >milk dishes, made up into junkets flavoured with
                                          >saffron."
                                          >
                                          >Now, if they didn't eat meat, I can't see them making
                                          >an actual junket, which is coagulated with rennet, so
                                          >I interpret that as simply some sort of pudding or
                                          >cheese-type dish.

                                          It would probably be worthwhile to discover what the original Latin
                                          term was that is being translated as "junket". It will give you a
                                          more accurate starting point for your extrapolations. (If I knew,
                                          I'd tell you, but I haven't yet managed to track down my own copy of
                                          the original text of Gerald's works.)

                                          Tangwystyl
                                          --
                                          --
                                          Heather Rose Jones
                                          heather.jones@...
                                        • Andrea Huwydd Lycsenbwrg
                                          ... Good point. Meanwhile, though, since another translation renders the phrase made up into messes with saffron , I suspect the term is not all that
                                          Message 20 of 29 , May 19, 2005
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                                            --- Heather Rose Jones <heather.jones@...>
                                            wrote:


                                            >
                                            > It would probably be worthwhile to discover what the
                                            > original Latin
                                            > term was that is being translated as "junket".

                                            Good point. Meanwhile, though, since another
                                            translation renders the phrase "made up into messes
                                            with saffron", I suspect the term is not all that
                                            specific.

                                            Andrea

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