Saffron, which is the stigma of a Crocus sativus flower, is most commonly sold in thread form. Powdered saffron is a great alternative to using threads as it is much easier to accurately measure. The flavor imparted by saffron is unique and exquisite.
Henry VIII, who cherished the aroma of saffron, condemned to death anyone who tampered with saffron!
Used commonly in such dishes as Spanish paella, Italian risotto, French bouillabaisse, Arabic lamb, Italian sauces and holiday breads to add both color and flavor, saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world. The taste is often described as floral, which makes sense as it comes from a flower. Like saffron threads, powdered saffron should be used with a light hand as it can make a dish bitter when used in excess. When substituting powdered saffron for threads, use a quarter of the amount.