Store saffron, storing saffron in fridge, how to store saffron at home
Tips and tricks for storing saffron | should saffron be refrigerated?
In many countries, finding saffron is not easy. Although you can always purchase it on Amazon, not all vendors are trustworthy with such valuable spice. So, when you find the real, pure saffron after a long search, buying in bulk and saving it for later use seems like a tempting idea.
Here, the real challenge arises: how to store saffron at home?
You have paid a lot of money for this priceless spice, and you want to get the most out of every single thread. So, keeping it in right condition and away from spoilage will be tricky. But don’t worry. Here we’ll lay out all you need to know about keeping saffron fresh. Let’s dive in without further ado.
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How not to store saffron at home?
Keeping saffron fresh is not hard if you know what to avoid. There are some elements that can cause saffron to go bad in no time. So, first you need to make sure you are keeping your precious spice away from these elements. Then, you can learn how to store saffron properly to keep it fresh for a long time.
Direct sun light is the first factor that can ruin saffron in no time. That’s the main reason it is harvested early in the morning before the sun rises. After sunrise, saffron flower closes up to protect the threads from direct light.
To keep the spice fresh and maintain its quality, it’s best to store saffron in dark places; away from any light.
Temperature is one of the reasons why saffron should be harvested early in the morning. The best time to cultivate saffron is fall, when the weather temperature is around 20 degrees. So, to increase saffron lifespan, you need to keep it at room temperature.
Also, the cabinet and container’s materials are important in keeping saffron fresh. It’s best to store saffron in plastic or glass containers in woody cabinets. Metal or other similar materials can absorb heat and cause saffron to go bad sooner than expected.
Saffron is sensitive to humidity. That’s why storing saffron in fridge is not a good idea. Saffron crocus best grows in dry environments. As a result, keeping the threads in the same conditions will ensure an excellent quality saffron for a longer period.
Oxygen is another element that can affect the quality of saffron. That’s why different resources always suggest to keep saffron in an air-tight container. On the other hand, powder saffron is more likely to lose its quality rather than the threads. Because saffron is more exposed to oxygen when in form of powder.
So, purchasing whole saffron rather than ground ensures a longer shelf life in addition to better quality. As it is easier for vendors to adulterate saffron powder than making fake saffron strands.
How long can I store saffron?
Whole saffron can maintain its quality if stored in right conditions for over 2 years. This time decreases to half a year for ground saffron. After this time, you may not notice any obvious change in saffron, but it starts to lose its properties.
When we talk about saffron lifespan, people expect to see signs of spoilage or mold on the spice. Unless you keep your spice exposed to above elements, you won’t notice any significant change. However, if you are using saffron for its medicinal properties, you should use it in a 2-year period.
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Why they dry saffron before delivering them to consumers?
After cultivation, saffron threads are dried in high temperatures to make sure there’s no moisture on them. It’s the main reason you can only find fresh saffron completely dry. Wet saffron grows mold in a matter of days. So, even if you live in countries such as Iran, Spain, India, etc. that harvest saffron, you can’t find moist saffron. The threads are dried the second they are plucked out of the flower.
The only reason some vendors sell moist saffron is because spraying water on the threads increases their weight. So, they can sell saffron for higher prices.
How to properly store saffron at home
If the original packaging of saffron can keep the threads away from light, humidity, oxygen, and heat, it’s best just to place it in a dark and cool environment. Otherwise, follow the below steps:
1. Separate it into one-off use portions
Storing saffron in fridge or freezer is not usually a good idea. Because every time you want use the threads, the process of thawing and refreezing will decrease saffron lifespan. On the other hand, fridge humidity is usually more than 40% which makes it an improper place to keep such delicate spice.
However, there’s no denying that keeping saffron in the freezer can increase its shelf life; especially if you don’t use it frequently. But to avoid the thawing and refreezing process, it’s better to divide saffron into small portions. Then store each portion separately for further use.
2. Wrap it up
To make sure your saffron is not exposed to light under any condition, wrap it up with an aluminum foil. Aluminum provides the perfect environment to store saffron as it does not absorb heat and keeps the light away.
Specially if you plan on storing saffron in fridge, aluminum foil will be a great help. Aluminum preserves saffron scent and flavor while keeping it fresh for a long period. But make sure not to wrap up the threads too tightly as they are delicate and can be damaged easily.
3. Put it in an airtight container
Now, it’s time to put the wrapped-up threads in a place where there is no or very little air circulation. A plastic or glass jar is the best option to minimize oxygen and maintain saffron quality.
Put before putting saffron in a container and sealing it, make sure the surface is completely dry and clean. A little contamination or moisture can have a negative result and ruin the whole package. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to saffron packaging before purchasing. An appropriate package will save you from all the trouble and keep the spice as good as new.
4. Place somewhere cool and dark
Of course, you can choose a container that blocks light away, like ceramic jars. However, they can also absorb moisture and create a humid place for molds to grow on your precious spice. So, unless you leave in dry climate, it’s better to use a plastic jar and place it somewhere dry.
If you have wooden cabinets or cupboards in the house, you can place the container there. Nevertheless, make sure it’s in an isolated place. The less you open the cabinet, the better it is for saffron. Because it minimizes light exposure and air circulation.
Learning how to store saffron at home is not rocket science. All you need is the right packaging and a small place in the corner of your kitchen cabinet.
Considering all that, always buy as much saffron you would need in a year. This way, you’ll ensure you are always using the spice fresh and benefit from all its amazing properties.