This is made from the dried stamens of a variety of purple crocus. It is therefore expensive, but the good news is you need only very little – the flavour is powerful and so is the colour.

You can buy it ready ground, but I find it best to buy the stamens whole and then pound them to a powder with a pestle and mortar. It can then be mixed with a little water before adding to a recipe, or the powder can be added directly.

If, like me, you worry that your paella doesn't look quite as colourful as the one you had in Spain, fear not: you don't need more saffron – in Spain they sometimes cheat and add food colouring!

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