Mexican Saffron?

I was in the grocery store today when I stopped short when I saw what I thought was the motherload super deal for Saffron. On closer inspection it was Safflower aka “mexican saffron” It looked like stamens and really resembled saffron only a little more “flowery” if that makes sence.

Is this related in any way? Same taste? Maybe if my luck is with me the same thing? I know Saffron is the stamen from the Krocus flower (sp.) …but I dont know WHAT this is assuming its different.

expert chefs?

No expert chef here.

But a couple of links to Fake and Real that might help.

I think this thread would be better served in Cafe Society.

Cajun Man - SDMB Moderator

I was recently given a bag of Vietnamese Saffron, and it turned out to be Turmeric!

There’s a lot of it about.

Saffron and safflower are not the same thing, although safflower can occassionally be substituted for saffron. They both produce a lovely yellow color when added to sauces or rice or whatnot, but from my experience, safflower doesn’t really contribute much to the flavor. You’ll also notice the difference in price. Safflower is a tiny fraction of the price of saffron (called the world’s most expensive spice by many. Once ounce of saffron goes for something like $40 or $50. Safflower goes for about $2 or less an ounce.)

Also, safflower is related to the marigold.

Now, if I were making something like a saffron risotto, I wouldn’t dare in my dreams substituting safflower. I would only use safflower in dishes in which I want to add yellow color without the taste of saffron or turmeric.

Saffron (the real stuff) is dirt cheap here. I bought two huge packets - probably about 10oz - for about US$11 at a recent world fair.

However it was what they call “low-grade” saffron - suitable for Biryanis, but not fine flavour enough for coffee (they add saffron and coffee to cardamon here).

Good saffreon subsitute an ANNATTO. a seed that gives the yellow colour. When added to hot oil, the turn the oil an orange colour and can be added to the dishes for colour.Although the flavors are comparable, they are NOT the same.

Puly is right that in some things there is no substitute