Fast and Fresh Cooking Tip: Saffron

December 25th, 2008

Saffron, the yellow-orange stigma of a small purple crocus, is the world’s most expensive spice. Each flower provides only three stigma, which must be handpicked. It takes 14,000 of these to equal 1 ounce of saffron. A little goes a long way, and there is no substitute for its exquisite flavor and earthy aroma. Store saffron in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to six months.

Fast and Fresh Cooking Tip: Spices

October 6th, 2008

Spices are aromatic seasonings obtained from the bark, buds, fruit, roots, seeds, or stems of various plants.  Many are sold in both whole and ground forms.  After grinding, spices quickly lose their aroma and flavor, so buy them in small quantities.  Whole spices can be ground as needed.

Store spices in airtight containers in a cool, dark place.  Whole spices will retain their flavors for up to 1 year, ground spices for only 6 months.  It’s a good idea to date spice containers when you buy them.