I am cooking a chickpea stew and clearly used too much Saffron (high chlorine taste). Does anyone know what I can use to balance out or mask the flavour?

  • What is chorine?
    – nico
    Jun 24, 2012 at 17:06
  • sorry, Chlorine
    – tgunn
    Jun 24, 2012 at 17:10
  • 9
    Since when does Saffron taste like Chlorine? Where are you getting this "saffron"?
    – FuzzyChef
    Jun 25, 2012 at 4:05
  • 7
    Balance out the taste of too much saffron? What kind of alternate dimension is this? Jun 25, 2012 at 4:28
  • 1
    A lot of saffron in the market is adultered....
    – Swati
    Jun 26, 2012 at 18:29

1 Answer 1


Searching for information about the taste of saffron, it seems that there are two camps - saffron that tastes of chlorine or plastic, and saffron that tastes/smells indescribably like saffron, perhaps earthy or like hay. Although it can taste bitter when used in larger amounts - e.g. a dash rather than a pinch. Some people find it can taste metallic or "hospital-y" which does match with the chemicals found in saffron, rather than this being a reault of an filler or fake-ness.

From Wikipedia (but they give no references) "Saffron's aroma is often described by connoisseurs as reminiscent of metallic honey with grassy or hay-like notes, while its taste has also been noted as hay-like and sweet."

So yours is possibly mixed with something or not real saffron. Or maybe you are using too much - the amount needed depends on the purity and grade. Therefore, the way to balance out or mask the flavour is probably to get real saffron or use less. If you are asking how to balance it in a dish you have already made, this is obviously not so useful! The other thing is that if you want the colour but not the taste, you can use turmeric.

How expensive was yours? And was it powder or threads? It is generally recommended that to get the threads for better taste, and I imagine these are harder to adulterate.

  • 9
    You can tell if you are using too much saffron because you will be broke. Jun 27, 2012 at 23:37
  • lol, that is also true!
    – standgale
    Jun 28, 2012 at 1:57
  • Saffron was not very expensive - seems like that might be the root of the issue.
    – tgunn
    Jul 3, 2012 at 14:56
  • I'd describe the taste as ... gasoline like but not unpleasant. Feb 26, 2018 at 10:38

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