Sunday, October 23, 2011
The red gold
The top quality of saffron is imported from either Spain or Iran, which both are recognised to produce the absolute best kind. It is known to be the most expensive spice in the world and when you know a little bit more about the actual flower and how it has to be processed, it make sense. For one pound (453 grams), it takes between 70 000 - 250 000 individually handpicked flowers in full bloom, which they only are in the autumn, to get this red gold from the purple saffron crocus. Luckily, we only need a tiny hint of this superb spice to get the rich dark yellow colour and suave aroma from this magnificent gift from mother nature.
Iran is one of the world's biggest countries and truly one of the places I would like to visit. Persian history is remarkably rich, fascinating, interesting yet so tragic with the current regime that captures the freedom of so many people over there. I hope and wish that the young people that grow up with access to information, satellite television and internet refuse to be held in this bubble of rules and succeed to take back every human being's right to a free life and course of mind, and to be able to enjoy their country in a way that most of us take for granted.
But I've heard that Iran is mindblowing and worth visiting anyhow on the condition that it is calm at the moment you plan to go there. The food is supposed to be a symphony of tastes, well made with every combination there is to find of herbs and spices, truly a joy to explore and get inspiration from. And the nature is said to be very colourful, exotic and where can you have over 45 degrees of scorching heat and snow at the same time?
Has anyone of you been there?
(Recipe: 5dl of cream (or 3dl of cream and 2dl of thick milk), 1dl of sugar, saffron, 4 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of concentrated rose water, 2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar, pistachio nuts.
Boil the cream and the sugar together, add the saffron (to your preference) and take the pot off the heat. Add the egg yolks and the rose water while you stir it all together. Heat it up at low temperature while stirring so it becomes thick. Add the vanilla sugar and the pistachios (I will also try to add raisins in the future).
Strain the cream (krämen) and let it cool down. Put it in the freezer for at least 4 hours and bring it out about 30 minutes before serving).