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What to eat with saffron?

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Sweet and floral taste with loud volume, saffron is added later in the cooking process to be activated by the heat of cooking. As a matter of fact, this bright yellow and orange hued spice is used to color as well as flavor foods. 

Furthermore, it is extremely strong and a little bit to cook with goes a very long way. Due to its aroma and flavor, a pinch of saffron makes bland grains brilliant, however not all ingredients taste good with saffron.

What to eat with saffron? Saffron is widely used in bouillabaisse, breads, curries, ice creams, paella, risotto, sauces, chicken or fish soups, and stews. 

From sweet to savory, saffron is a versatile spice that complements well with other spices including cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

Garnishing saffron with meat and seafood is highly recommended to enrich the flavor, especially with chicken, halibut, shellfish, and scallops.

The fine thread of reddish stigmas has been used for centuries as both a culinary and medicinal herb, and today it’s one of the most expensive spices in the world. But what can be eaten with saffron? Pretty much everything.

Saffron has a light flavor that won’t overpower a dish when used in subtle quantities. It’s delicious in savory dishes like soups, stews, and sauces, but the spice also works well with sweet treats like cookies and cakes.

What foods goes well with saffron?

Saffron is a beautiful and delicious addition to many dishes, and it has a long history of being used in meat and vegetable dishes. But don’t let its history fool you—it’s great with everything from savory rice to sweet desserts. 

For those who aren’t big on spicy food, saffron is still a great choice because it adds color without adding any heat or zing to the dish. It is recommended to use about ¼ teaspoon per pound of meat or fish. 

From fruits to vegetables, here are essential ingredients that complement well with saffron:

  • Vegetables: artichoke, asparagus, carrots, corn, eggplant, fennel, garlic, ginger, leeks, mushrooms, onions, paprika, pepper, potatoes, spinach, winter squash, broccoli
  • Legumes: couscous
  • Fruits: orange, tomatoes
  • Herbs: basil
  • Spice: anise, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, vanilla
  • Cheese: gruyere, cheddar, goat, parmesan
  • Meat: chicken, eggs, fish, game birds, halibut, lamb, mussels, rabbit, scallops, shellfish, veal
  • Dairy: cream, ice cream, yogurt, heavy cream 
  • Condiments: mayonnaise

What can you add saffron to?

Saffron has an aromatic fragrance with a bitter taste that adds character to any dish by imparting its signature yellow-orange color. Saffron threads are used to transform the appearance and taste of many cuisines around the world. 

If you are looking to take saffron spice to the next level, try adding to these foods:

  • Bouillabaisse: Known as a classic French soup featuring fish and seafood, the rich broth includes saffron to give a beautiful orange color that does not necessarily include red or white wine.
  • Curries: Other than curry powder, saffron is added to make curries. It has a more complex flavor than just curry powder. 
  • Rice dishes: The classic way to use saffron is by adding it to rice dishes such as paellas, pilafs and risottos. Just a pinch of the spice adds a brilliant aroma, flavor and color to the rice. 
  • Sauces: Saffron sauce is slightly bitter or astringent, and has a bright color with creamy and cheesy flavor.
  • Soups: Typically used in chicken or fish soups, but saffron also blends well with vegetable, creamy and tomato soup.
  • Desserts: Just like vanilla beans or extract, saffron goes well in sweet desserts such as cookies, custards, pudding, panna cotta, and cake.
  • Tea: Saffron tea is blended with cinnamon, cardamom, lemon, rose, mint, or ginger to make a refreshing and mood boosting hot or cold beverage. Generally, categorized in white tea.
  • Cocktails: Infuse spirits with saffron by adding about twenty threads into the bottle. Let it sit for about four days and enjoy the unbeatable flavor blend. Saffron can be added to tequila, vodka, rum or gin for an unmatched taste.  

What flavor goes well with saffron?

Saffron goes well with both sweet and savory foods. It’s especially complementary to fish and seafood, such as scallops, shrimp, and lobster. 

In fact, it is also a classic ingredient in the Spanish cuisine staple, paella. The rice dish is seasoned with saffron and cooked with chicken, sausage, shellfish, and vegetables.

Not only meat and seafood, it works well with many vegetables too, especially with onions, leeks, potatoes, and winter squash to rich earthiness of saffron threads while enhancing the delicate sweetness of the vegetable.

Here are classic flavor combinations that go well with saffron:

  • saffron + fish + rice
  • saffron + ginger + vanilla
  • saffron + monkfish + rice
  • saffron + arborio rice + white wine + parmesan cheese + olive oil
  • saffron + rose water + milk + sugar + custard
What to eat with saffron

Eat with Saffron: Conclusion

Saffron is a versatile ingredient that can be added to dishes served from breakfast to dinner, and even dessert. There are many ways to enjoy this ingredient at home, from its sweet and delicate flavors to its bright yellow color, all that is needed is a little imagination!

Saffron is typically used in curry and bouillabaisse. A pinch of saffron can be added to breads, ice creams, paella, risotto, sauces, soups, stews, tea, cocktails, and puddings.

Other than adding flavor, it also helps to give a bold and intriguing color to the dish. The spice intrinsically deepens flavor in chicken, halibut, shellfish, and scallops.

Whether it’s an exotic dish from a faraway land or something more traditional like paella and bouillabaisse, saffron is used to enhance a meal in a unique manner. Use this guide to inspire some new culinary adventures with saffron the are worth exploring in your kitchen. 

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