Villa Jerada Saffron $15.95 - $25.95

“I’m not a creator, I’m not an inventor,” says Mehdi Boujrada, a native of Morocco who developed a line of artisanal pantry items that stay true to his culinary traditions.

“I’m just someone with very modest means trying to preserve and transmit something from our culture.” With the help of his mother, Boujrada started Villa Jerada in 2011.

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Saffron adds a slightly floral flavor and aoma to food—not to mention a vibrant golden hue. We love it in a classic Saffron Risotto (Risotto alla Milanese) and our Lemon-Saffron Chicken (Tangia). It also adds lovely complexity when steeped in coffee or tea.

Kitchen Notes

We have a little trick we like to use here in the Milk Street kitchen to determine if a saffron is pure or cut with other filler products and dyes—like much in the U.S. unfortunately is. Simply drop a few strands in tepid water and watch to see how fast the color releases. If the water turns yellow fairly quickly or the strands lose their hue, then artificial dyes were likely used. If it releases slowly and stays a deep red, then it’s true saffron. This one passed the test with flying colors (a rich, golden color that is).

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