“White saffron” or “Konj saffron” refers to the saffron stigmas that have not yet reached their full red color maturity.
The deep red color of saffron stigmas after harvesting is a result of the presence of high amounts of safranal, crocin, and picrocrocin. These compounds are responsible for the flavor, aroma, and color of saffron. Although, there are instances when stigmas are plucked before they attain their complete reddish tinge, leading to the emergence of pale yellow or white stigmas.
Although they are still considered saffron, the yellow or white stigmas may possess distinct flavor characteristics and a diminished amount of safranal, crocin, and picrocrocin compared to the mature red stigmas. Yellow saffron is used similarly to red saffron, whether for cooking or medicinal purposes. However, little more stigmas may be necessary to attain the intended color and taste. It is mostly applied for medicinal usages or even when we only need the aroma.
White or Konj Saffron
After removing “Negin” from “Bunch saffron”, the root part of strands remain. This part is known as “Konj” or “Sefid” Saffron in Iran. “Konj” is known as style or white in Europe. “Konj” is not a kind of saffron types but is considered due to its beautiful color and appearance. Some people incorrectly think that “Konj” is more perfumed than the Sargol, Negin, or Pushal.
The quality of White saffron
The quantity of crocin, picrocrocin, and safranal present in konj saffron may fluctuate due to various factors such as the maturity of the saffron blooms, the environmental and soil circumstances in which they were cultivated, and the techniques employed during harvesting and processing.
Overall, it is commonly thought that immature konj saffron contains a lesser amount of these substances as compared to fully matured red saffron. According to certain reports, konj saffron could possibly have a lesser quantity of crocin and picrocrocin compared to red saffron and this could ultimately result in a more subdued scent and taste.
The levels of Safranal present in konj saffron may vary, but it is generally assumed that they are lower than those found in red saffron. The distinct scent of saffron is attributed to safranal, which is thought to have the highest concentration in the crimson stigmas.
Although lacking the potency of red saffron in terms of flavor and scent, konj saffron is still valued in certain culinary cultures for its gentle and nuanced taste and aroma. The utilization of this type of saffron is commonly seen in cuisine dishes that demand a subtler saffron taste, such as sweet treats and rice-based meals, and it can also be employed as an embellishing ornament.
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