Super fresh saffron
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March 31, 2012 — The colorful spice saffron costs a fortune, but it 'grows' on a flower. Mike McGrath discusses the unusual fall-blooming crocus that produces saffron. Plus your fabulous phone calls.
We live at the border of Lancaster and Chester counties in Pennsylvania Dutch country. I am from Sweden and love to cook with saffron around the holidays. A sweet saffron bread formed into traditional shapes is a big part of our Lucia and Christmas tradition. (Although I love this spice in any dish.) I currently get my saffron from a local farmer's market, but we have early spring crocuses that grow like weeds in sunny spots on our lawn; fragile white and purple flowers with fragrant dark yellow pistils. Because the pistils aren’t red, I don't think they’re the actual saffron crocus, which I believe grows in the fall, but they smell like saffron and I’m wondering if I could use them for spice. They smell like they would add taste to any meal. Are these Spring blooming plants the ‘Pennsylvania Dutch Saffron?’ I’ve heard about? Or could they be poisonous? Get the answer »