Seriously, folks... What was I getting myself into with this week's challenge? I knew saffron's street rep for being notoriously expensive, but I didn't really know what this would entail until I got the store. It all started out innocently enough in the spice aisle.
I was able to find it at the first grocery store I went to, but then I saw the price tag: £3.86 for 40 grams. That's odd, I thought to myself, they don't typically sell spices by the gram do they? As I stood among the jars of neatly labeled herbs, mentally weighing my options, calculating how many grams I wanted versus how many I needed, things started to feel a bit suspicious.
An older man in a rain jacket crept up to the display next to me. I eyed him apprehensively... was he looking to score some saffron as well? My pulse was racing and my hands were clammy as I gripped the glass jar in my hands. One would have to be enough for now. It was only my first time after all.
After quickly using self-checkout (couldn't let a cashier handle the goods), I rushed home to study my purchase.
Okay, if I wasn't convinced saffron is secretly an illicit narcotic before, I certainly was once I opened the cap.
I had planned to make several different recipes, but the first one completely wiped out my saffron stash. At least it was worth it. I made Ina Garten's Saffron risotto with butternut squash
(photo from Food Network. I couldn't take any pictures of my recipe. You know...
incriminating evidence, probable cause, and all that business )
Although, I will admit this risotto recipe is one of the best I've ever had. The saffron added an element of depth and flavor to it that my usual risotto base lacks. (But if you tell anyone I said that, I'll deny it. And then have to kill you.)
Next week's flavor: UNKNOWN! Sean and I are headed off to Barcelona at the end of the week and I know I'm going to be exposed to a food culture shock. I want to leave myself open and see what I find. If you've been to Barcelona or Spain and have any native cuisine suggestions, send them my way! (You can be guaranteed that sangria and Cava will definitely be on the list!)
52 Flavors Tally:
Foods I like: 6 (Fennel, Indian, British desserts, Chickpeas, Kale, Saffron)
Foods I dislike: 3 (Figs, Quinoa, Hummus)