saffron

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  • Topic: Black pepper, Clove, Edible salt
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  • Published : November 11, 2013
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SAFFRON
Saffron is a spice obtained from the stigmas of the flower of Crocus sativus Linnaeus, commonly known as Rose of Saffron.

One of the first historic references to the use of saffron comes from Ancient Egypt , where it was used by Cleopatra as an aromatic and seductive essence, and to make sacrifices in temples and sacred places. It was used as a remedy to sleeplessness and to reduce hangovers caused by wine. It was also used to perfume baths. Arabs used saffron in medicine for its anesthetic properties. It was the Arabs who introduced the cultivation of saffron in Spain. Evidence of different kinds assure that saffron was an irreplaceable ingredient in the hispanic-arabic cooking of that age. During the Renaissance, Venice stood out as the most important commercial center for saffron. In that period saffron was worth its weight in gold, and even today it is still the most expensive spice in the world. The stigmas of saffron have a high level of moisture, so it is necessary to dry them for its good preservation. This is the process of roasting, in which the stigmas get it definitive aspect: bright red, rigid and without wrinkles. After the process of roasting, the stigmas of saffron would have 1/5 of their original size. This means that for one kg of raw stigmas we will obtain 200 g of saffron ready for consumption. For its perfect preservation, saffron is stored in big wooden trunks lined with metal plate inside protecting it from heat, cold and specially moisture.

Saffron is used in the confectionery and liquor industries; this is its most common use in Italy. izarra, and strega are types of alcoholic beverages that rely on saffron to provide a flourish of color and flavor. they often crumble and pre-soak saffron threads for several minutes prior to adding them to the dishes. threads are tossed into water or sherry and left to soak for approximately ten minutes. This process extracts the threads' color and flavor into the liquid phase; powdered saffron does not require this step. The soaking solution is then added to the hot cooking dish, allowing even color and flavor distribution, which is critical in preparing baked goods or thick sauces. Saffron dishes :

Saffron rice
Saffron bread
Mexican rice.

SALT
a white crystalline substance which gives seawater its characteristic taste and is used for seasoning or preserving food. Some types of salt have risen to gourmet status, along with a price tag. Certain types of salt are better for some cooking or preserving methods. 

Most common salt is mined from salt deposits left by salt lakes around the world. Sea salt is distilled from the ocean, a more expensive process, resulting in a heftier price. 

most common types:

Table salt: This is the most common salt.It is a fine-ground, refined rock salt with some additives to keep it free-flowing. Smaller particles mean more particles per measure and more surface area than coarser grinds. As such, use about half the amount if you are substituting for coarse salt. 

Coarse salt: Coarse refers to the grind. The jagged edges and large crystals make this a good choice for sprinkling on pretzels or corn on the cob because the edges tend to cling and the salt does not melt as fast. 

Iodized salt: Salt which has iodine (sodium iodide) added. Iodine is a mineral necessary to the body. Surprisingly, iodized salt contains a small amount of sugar, without which the salt would turn yellow due to oxidation of the iodine. 

Kosher salt: This is a coarser grind of salt with large, irregular crystals. It contains no additives. Kosher dietary laws strictly require as much blood as possible be removed from meat before cooking. This coarse grind performs the job admirably. It is a favorite with not only Jewish cooks, but also professional and gourmet cooks who prefer its texture and brighter flavor. When substituting for table salt, you may need more to taste since it seems less salty. The size and...
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