That varies. To find out, a group of scientists has analyzed the colour and chemistry of saffron and has found several different reasons why saffron has no bad taste.
Researchers at the University of Warwick say the smell is completely different to that of other spices.
“We have done some testing to look at the differences between other common spices and saffron,” said Professor Tim O’Hare. “Aromatic aromatics such as cloves and cinnamon, as well as anise and cardamom, also appear to be not to be affected by saffron.
“However, all of these aromatics are more strongly affected by oxygen than by hydrogen.
“And oxygen has a strong pull on a saffron plant. This explains why saffron is not very effective as a perfume. Oxygen knocks off the smell and is more effective in flavour than hydrogen can be.”
The study also found the colour had no effect. “There is a strong and distinct pattern of colour in saffron,” said Mr O’Hare. “It is very green; you can make this look like a golden green by combining saffron powder with brown sugar and other colouring agents.
“However, at no point in the study does the colour seem to affect the flavour of saffron. At any real time, the colour has no effect on the smell of saffron.
“Our work is the first to show that the colour can not be affected by changing its molecular form. So far, there have only been hints suggesting that the saffron spice has a different scent,” he said.
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