Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. It is harvested from the stigmas of crocus, which only produce a little bit each and have to be harvested by hand. All this I learned from exhaustive research that took me here and here.
These sites say that saffron has a distinctive flavor. I have never noticed one, except that it is maybe a little bitter, but it does seem to lend foods a nice aroma, and of course a beautiful deep yellow color. Indonesians make saffron rice (nasi kuning), which is pale yellow and is also faintly sweet because it is made with coconut milk.
The only recipe I have ever made that calls for saffron, is a Philippine chicken soup recipe that I got out of Extending the Table, the successor to the popular More with Less Cookbook. It's a simple soup calling for sauteed garlic, a little ginger, and green onions added at the last minute. I would post a recipe, but my copy of Extending the Table is temporarily lost after a recent(ish) move.
I owe the idea for this post to Dogimo, (one of my faithful food followers), who mentioned in a comment thread on his own blog that saffron is made from crocuses. I hadn't remembered that, but it seemed that someone with a food blog ought to know. Luckily, I have only exposed my ignorance in front of three people, tops. Now that I have posted about saffron, it might be fun to feature a different herb or spice every once in a while, posting a recipe with that herb or spice too. Stay tuned.
Masak means "to cook" in Indonesian. Since we lived for a time in Indonesia, some people wondered what we eat. This blog will help answer that question ... and perhaps inspire you with its cheap, eclectic, and ad hoc collection of recipes.
Our Oven in Indonesia
It sits on top of an LPG burner. The tank is underneath the counter.