Saffron and a bit OT

Angelo Porcelli
Mon, 31 Oct 2005 10:47:22 PST

that saffron liquor hasn't any specific name, so it's simply 'liquore allo zafferano' . In '93 I made the military service in L'Aquila which is the capital city of Abruzzo and Navelli is just few km far. In some good level restaurants this liquor was served as speciality (also one with Gentiana lutea and other with alpine herbs), but I doubt it is commercially available. If you have any contact in Abruzzo, maybe you could find a source. Liquor should be prepared in the usual way as others (i.e. like the famous lemon one) that is putting fresh collected stigmas in pure alcool for some days etc etc. but it is likely there's a true recipe to follow.

Jim, McK

yes you made good observation about Italian. Are you learning it maybe ???
Zafferano has an Arab root, which would be 'zafaran' or 'zafran' and this isn't so far from the English saffron indeed.

Crocus thomasii, I regret I don't have time to take some good photos to show the colour variation, but I did add a couple on the PBS and on IBS, where in one the stigmas size is clearly visible too.
From those pics, one could get the idea of a smallish species but those pictured are all wild specimens. Mine in cultivation has larger flowers, of course, and corms much bigger bearing many flowers. I found some really big past summer, while 'renewing' the bed in the saffron manner, over 5cm across (2 inches) looking like small gladiolus corms.

Ricotta and biscotto actually have the seam meaning if we look at the etymology (or etimology?) of the words and means 'cooked two times'. Now I don't want to explain ricotta preparation here .... or it will turn soon in an Italian food forum !!

Alberto C.

for what I know saffron was also used as dye in past and maybe it could have been even its main use at first. You know Phoeniceus were keen traders around the Mediterranean basin and famous for their secrets about dye. Probably the great consideration of saffron and its legendary price compared to gold, has a very ancient origin.
Also, saffron is thought to have medical properties, but I don't know much on this. And finally, most part of the classic cultivations of the Mediterranean, (in a wider sense including animals like goat, sheep, horse, dog etc) have a so long tradition that the wild ancestors are still unknown.

Angelo Porcelli

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