Saffron is an interesting flower. Saffron strings are considered to be the most expensive spice per kilogram. Of course, it can cost several thousands of dollars, if field workers must hand-pick more than 200 000 flowers in order to collect 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of spice. The biggest saffron producer is Iran, but for me, personally, it almost feels like a Swedish national spice.
Probably, the most important reason to say so is a “special” saffron aroma, that people start noticing in all Swedish bakeries and stores from the end of October until the end of December. The source of this aroma – a special S-shaped yellow bun with two raisins. If you see this bun, you know that this is lussebulle or lussekatt. While the history behind the appearance of lussekatter in Sweden can be easily found on the Internet, I would rather like to tell you about my personal relationship with saffron itself. To be honest, my first tasting of lussebulle happened several years ago and remained as the first and last one – I did not like it from the first bite! Strange, but I condemned saffron for this “non-love” towards buns that are baked to celebrate Saint Lucia Day on December 13th. Many of my friends like lussebulle very much, so they were really happy to have more buns only for themselves.
However, in one sunny day in mid-October, my friend presented me a package with real saffron! I love presents, especially unusual and unexpected ones, so I thanked him and decided to figure out how I could use the spice.
My precious gift
So, not that long ago, one Sunday morning, when I was not rushing to the lab and was cooking my breakfast, I finally decided to give saffron another chance to conquer my heart. First, I boiled oat milk with several pinches of saffron and added oats. I put heat on low and allowed the oats to absorb the milk. In about 15 min, I added a pinch of cinnamon, and when the porridge was ready, completed my dish with a teaspoon of honey. Trust me, it was one of the best porridges in my life! Moreover, my room was filled with an amazing aroma, and I had a feeling that saffron gives me a warm hug of love and appreciation.
So, the only thing I do regret in this story is to have lost so much time without using this amazing spice for cooking. My advice to you, for next year, is to never be afraid to break your prejudice, because unexpected magic can happen!
Photo: pixabay.com; by author