An ink the colour of pomegranate blossoms: this intriguing little recipe calls for mixing "root of the saffron" with an equal amount of sharp vinegar and setting aside to soak; meanwhile saffron threads are boiled with finely ground gum arabic. The two are then strained & mixed.
Since the saffron crocus grows from a bulb, I assume the "root" here is the yellow root of the red thread. It's not usually included when buying saffron, but one can find saffron "with root". Here I'm cutting the roots from the threads to treat them separately.
(Insert eye-roll about the translator using the word-for-word translation "hairy saffron" throughout instead of proper English "saffron threads", making it sound like there's a different type of saffron that's not hairy. Jesus.)
While the roots macerate in (white) wine vinegar, the threads go into the pot with the gum arabic.
Having macerated saffron for earlier tests, I can definitely say decoction is MUCH more efficient to draw out the colour.
The result after straining/mixing is very pleasing, but more on that in a bit. The different results are very instructive. Vinegar pulls a lemon yellow from the roots. The threads on their own yield near-red. Boiled with roots, the hue is golden-yellow. Maceration alone is weak.
The resulting hue is puzzling because this is what a pomegranate blossom looks like. There's no way this red can be achieved this way. So maybe it's meant to look like the dye from the flower, rather than the flower itself.
I wish I had picked up dried pom blossoms from the souk when I spotted them there, but I have ordered some so I will be able to test it soon. I found out these flowers were used to fake saffron dye, so it's a bit curious to have a recipe for faking them FROM saffron! 🤔
Remember this thread? Well it was all a waste of time. The reason why is in this tweet showing the proper translation of the original text:
Here's the colour resulting from the rectified recipe. It can be more red or more yellow depending on amounts.
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