To this day fake saffron is being sold at markets around the world. Dried saffron threads are also not always what they seem. Some merchants may coat the threads with a thin layer of honey or oil. This increases the weight and the consequence is that the price increases. There are a few key ways to tell real saffron from fake: taste, smell, look, and price.
How do you know if saffron is real?
Saffron thread never tastes sweet, If it’s sweet you surely bought the fake one. Real saffron will have a bitter and slightly astringent taste when placed on the tongue. Then there is the aroma. Saffron has a very distinct smell. While fake saffron will have almost no aroma, the smallest amount of genuine saffron will have a characteristic and intense smell. To identify the aroma you first have to know what real saffron smells like. The real saffron aroma is a blend of earth, tobacco, vanilla, honey, salty sweet. Just remember this one mantra:
Good saffron will always SMELL sweet and never TASTE sweet.
Genuine saffron also has a particular look about it, with a unique coloration and strands of saffron having a diffuse end. Real saffron won’t lose its original color after you’ve put it in some water. Only the real saffron will keep its original color when you take the thread out of the water. The fake one will have lost completely its added color and won’t look the same anymore. The water with the pure saffron will turn honey-yellow. The fake one will turn dim red. You can also rub the saffron threads between wet fingers: they turn orange/red/yellow.
Save yourself all the trouble. Take a look at our online shop and get your own genuine, high-quality Saffron.