How Can I Identify Good-Quality Saffron?

Ingredient Questions

Q: I recently took a trip to India and brought tons of spices back home. I stumbled across something that I thought was saffron, but when I got home, it did not smell like real saffron. How do I tell the difference between real and synthetic saffron? Could there be geographical variations?

Sent by Isabella

Editor: My guess is that it's saffron, but perhaps a bit old and past its aromatic prime. If this is the case, it will still be great for coloring your dishes, but won't give it quite the same saffron flavor punch.

Here's some more info on saffron:

Ingredient Spotlight: Saffron
Good Product? Spanish Saffron from Trader Joe's
What Can I Make That Uses Saffron?

Readers, any other insight on this saffron?


Related: Quick Guide to Every Herb and Spice in the Cupboard

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