There are few words as evocative as saffron. Over thousands of years it has perfumed the halls of Crete's palaces, made Cleopatra more alluring, and driven crusaders and German peasants to their deaths. While spices that drove adventurers to the ends of the earth, such as cinnamon, mace, and ginger, have become commonplace, saffron remains tantalizingly exotic. Nothing more than the dried stamens of the autumn-flowering purple crocus, it night as well be fairy dust. Resistant to modern horticultural technology, the fragile blossoms must still be gathered by hand from the ancient fields of Iran, Greece, Italy, southern France, and Spain.
Told in sumptuous prose, complete with fabulous ancient and modern recipes, including a Moorish wedding feast, a luscious creme brulee, and a balm for an aching heart, Secrets of Saffron will awaken in you a voracious desire for the private pleasures of this most precious spice.