Saffron is a spice that increases the flavor and aroma of food items.
Therefore, people keep and store them so they can use saffron when they want.
But while storing, people do get questions like do saffron go bad or can it be stored at room temperature?
Unlike other spices, saffron does not go bad; instead, its quality begins to decline as you prolong its storage.
Thus people need to check that the old-found saffron is suitable before they use them in their recipes.
For checking if it is good to eat, many people only think of the best before the date.
However, this is just an estimated date the manufacturer provides until they think the spice will last.
What is Saffron?
It is a highly expensive spice that gives a golden color to the food, and by adding a pinch of it, you can give your recipes an exotic taste.
One can find them in the red gold-like tread or in ground form.
These are actually not treads but the stigma of a fall-flowering plant called crocus sativus.
This flower is from the family of the iris.
Although this is native to Asia Minor, the spice is mainly used in countries like Europe, Arab, Persia, and India.
Besides as an amazing coloring for food, this is also used in perfumes, medicines, and even in dyes.
It had a flute-like structure on one end and a yellow tendril on the other.
Saffron is highly nutritional and can be added to gluten-free, paleo, and in vegan diets.
How Long Does Saffron Last? Does Saffron Go Bad?
As mentioned earlier, that printed date is only an estimated date, so this does not mean that saffron cannot lose its potency earlier or cannot serve you for a more extended period after that.
Early spoilage can happen when you keep your saffron around moisture, air, or heat because they can make it go bad in no time.
Therefore one needs to be careful when they are storing it.
If you want it to last long, then try to keep the saffron at a higher temperature.
However, the shelf life of quality saffron is quite good as it can be stored for up to 2 to 3 years in a pantry.
Some people store their spices in a freezer as they think it will increase their potency, but that’s not true in every case.
If you keep the whole saffron in the freezer, it will only last for 1 to 2 years.
When you have ground saffron, then you must store it in the pantry as freezing is not recommended.
In a pantry or kitchen cabinet, it can be stored for 6 to 12 months.
These shelf lives are only for high-quality saffron, and if your storage conditions are not favorable, then they can lose their quality earlier than the earlier-mentioned dates.
How to Tell if Saffron Has Gone Bad?
- Consider the Best by Date
When you are not sure whether your saffron is fresh or not, then you can consider its best-by date.
If the storage is too much prolonged and it has crossed its labeled date long ago, it might have gone bad.
One must not consume it as it can develop bacteria or harmful elements that can make you ill.
- Check the Color
Fresh saffron has a bright orange-red color that makes it look vibrant and attractive.
But as you store it for a long time, this color will begin to fade away and lose its brightness.
Therefore when you are looking for a sign to find out bad saffron, then you check the color.
If it is not at all bright or seems dull, then it is no longer fresh and will not give you desired flavor.
- Smell the Aroma
You know that the fragrance of fresh saffron is so pleasing and hard to forget.
However, this aroma does last forever because as the saffron is exposed to heat and moisture, this smell gets away, and saffron absorbs the scent of its surrounding things.
Thus if the saffron offers you an aroma when you smell it, you can use it; otherwise, you should discard it if it provides a foul odor.
How to Store Saffron?
- Do Not Refrigerate
One must avoid refrigerators when they are storing saffron.
That is because refrigerators cause moisture that saffron will absorb and become prone to molds.
Once the mold is developed, you cannot have saffron at all; therefore, you must only store it at room temperature.
- Pest Free Storage
Most people prefer pantry and kitchen cabinets to make store their saffron.
However, this will not work if your pantry or cabinet is infested with pests and bugs, as they will make it go bad in no time.
Therefore storage in the pantry should only be done when your storage area is safe from pests.
- Temperature to Be Maintained
While storing, remember that you need to provide a specific temperature to preserve its quality.
The temperature should range from 15 to 20 degrees, and the humidity must not be above 40%.
Keeping saffron in this environment can help you make it last longer.
One can try to store it in smaller quantities so that even if one goes bad, others will still be fine to use.
Make sure you do not store them around food items that have a strong smell, as they might lose their aroma.
If you desire to store your saffron for an extended period, you can follow the above-provided storing measures.
How Long Does Saffron Last? Does it Go Bad?
- Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
- Labels and markers
- Store your product in an labelled container in a cool, dark place like the pantry or fridge.
- If your food is frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge before cooking.
- Make sure to look for signs that your food has gone bad before eating it.
Andrew Gray is a seasoned food writer and blogger with a wealth of experience in the restaurant and catering industries. With a passion for all things delicious, Andrew has honed his culinary expertise through his work as a personal chef and caterer.
His love for food led him to venture into food writing, where he has contributed to various online publications, sharing his knowledge and insights on the culinary world. As the proud owner of AmericasRestaurant.com, Andrew covers a wide range of topics, including recipes, restaurant reviews, product recommendations, and culinary tips.
Through his website, he aims to inspire and educate fellow food enthusiasts, offering a comprehensive resource for all things food-related.