Saffron - what's the point?
Wanted to bake some Marzipan buns and the (Swedish) recipe I have calls for saffron (and cardamom, which added a lovely flavor and is way more inexpensive).
I ordered a smallish amount from a reputable source and when it arrived noticed it smelled quite pungent, so it was definitely fresh and not stale. Baked the buns and while they had a nice yellowish color, neither hubby nor I could detect any taste dimension beyond that imparted by the other ingredients.
The recipe did specify to pan-heat, crush, and steep the saffron in melted butter prior to using, which I did.
We had paella in Spain years ago and also couldn't detect the saffron imparting any flavor whatsoever. I did read you will not detect saffron unless you've added too much, but if that's the case, what is the point of using it? If it's to impart color, there are cheaper means to make stuff yellowish. It's frightfully expensive and seems to me like The Emperor's New Clothes?
What do you seasoned foodies think?